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Summer/Fall 2008 
Volume 3 1 , Number 2 



COMMUNITY MEDIA REVIEW 



CMR EDITORIAL BOARD 

™ ^ auren ; G lH Dav i t r 2008 Post-Conference Issue 

CC 1 V Center for Media and Democracy 
Jennifer Harris 
Center for Digital Democracy UP FRONT 

Daniell Krawczyk 

Princeton Server Group Greetings Alliance Members! by Helen Soule 4 

Margie Nicholson A Time of Opportunity by Matt Schuster 5 

Columbia College Chicago 

„ 01 tJ Conference Reflections by Deborah Vinse 1 6 

Ben Sheldon J 

CTC VISTA Project CMR Post Conference Edition by Debra Rogers 7 

Karen Toering 

Reclaim the Media FE ATU RES 

Andy Valeri 

Miami Valley Communications Council Why It is Beneficial for Community-based Organizations 

GUEST EDITOR to Connect with Community Media by Peter Guttmacher 8 

Debra Rogers „ 1 . t^, T t ™ -t ^ 

Creative Collaborations by Anne D Urso Rose 10 

MANAGING EDITOR 

Lisa Schnabel Access Centers Bring Youth Media to the Next Level 

COPY EDITOR h Clodagh Rule and Betty Yu 12 

Paula J. Kelly New 2Media Issues by Laurie Cirivello 14 

NATIONAL OFFICE Making Media Around the World by Sam May field 17 

Helen Soule, executive director 

Denise Woodson, membership/operations Alliance for Community Media Awards 20 

Rob McCausland, information/organizing t , _ _. ^ 

T . _ , , • • , Hometown Video Awards Honor Excellence m Community Media 

Lisa b reedman, advertising sales J 

Programming and Operations by Deborah Vinsel 23 

|^ Alliance for Keynote Comments 28 

L&Ps. Community Alliance for Community Media's Equal Opportunity 

kWSc^^ Media 

l^t^QSfl Caucus by Tonya Gonzalez 34 



9004] is published quarterly by the Alliance Media Necessary by Betty Yu 36 

for Community Media, Inc. Subscriptions A11 . T i ts.t • i tt ^ • i 

' Alliance Launches National Keep Us Connected Campaign at the 
are S35/year. Editorial comments and m- 

quiries regarding subscriptions, additional July 2008 Washington, D.C., Conference by Malkia K. Lydia 40 

copies, and advertising may be sent to: Tr TT ^ t ^ -7770 ^ T 77 - „„ 

Keep Us Connected Compiled by Sean McLaughlin 44 

ALLIANCE FOR COMMUNITY MEDIA 

666 11th St NW/ Suite 740 House Subcommittee Shows Support for PEG by Alliance Staff. 46 

Washington, DC 20001-4542 Working Overtime to Save PEG Access in Wisconsin by Mary Cardona 48 

Voice: 202.393.2650 / Fax: 202.393.2653 

cmr@alliancecm.org New York Alliance Members Shine Light on Damage to 

www.alliancecm.org p£G by Dm CmghUn 50 

Requests for bulk orders considered in advance of 

publication. Contact the national office for rates and Alternatives in Training Strategies by Devorah Hill 51 

delivery. 

Copyright © 2008 by the Alliance for Community 
Media, Inc. Prior written permission of the Alliance 
for Community Media required for all reprints or 

USage " 2008 POST-CONFERENCE ISSUE ■ 1 



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ALLIANCE FOR COMMUNITY MEDIA BOARD OF DIRECTORS 



EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE 

MATT SCHUSTER 

Chair 

At-Large Representative 

Metro TV-Louisville Metro Government 

527 W. Jefferson Street, 6th Floor 

Louisville, KY 40202 

Voice: 502.574.1904 /Fax: 502.574.8777 

Email: Matt.Schuster@louisvilleky.gov 

KEALI'I LOPEZ 

Vice-Chair 

'Olelo Community Television 
1122 Mapunapuna Street 
Honolulu, HI 96819 

Voice: 808.834.0007 xl31 / Fax: 808.836.2546 
Email: klopez@olelo.org 

MIKE WASSENAAR 

Treasurer 
SPNN 

375 Jackson Street, Suite 250 
St. Paul, MN 55101 

Voice: 651.298.8900 /Fax: 651.298.8414 
Email: wassenaar@spnn.org 

KERI STOKSTAD 

Secretary 

At Large Representative 

Newburyport Community Media Center 

Newburyport, MA 01950 

Voice: 978.961.0334 

Email: kstokstad@gmail.com 

RICH DESIMONE 

Chair of Chairs 

Mid-Atlantic Representative 

500 Main Street 

Metuchen, NJ 08840 

Voice: 732.603.9750 /Fax: 732.603.9871 

Email: metv.metuchennj@verizon.net 

TONYA GONZALEZ 

Equal Opportunity Chair 
DCTV 

901 Newton Street NE 

Washington, DC 20017 

Voice: 202.526.7007 xl05 / Fax: 202.526.6646 

Email: tielgonzalez@aol.com 

REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVES 

JOSH GODING 

Midwest Representative 
Public Access Television 
06 Lafayette Street 
Iowa City, IA 52240 
Voice: 319.338.7035 
Email: contact@patv.tv 

NANCY RICHARD 

Northeast Representative 

Plymouth Area Community Access Television 

130 Court Street Rear 

Plymouth, MA 02360 

Voice: 508.830.6999 /Fax: 508.830.9666 

Email: nrichard@pactv.org 



LINDA LITOWSKY 

Southwest Representative 
PACT 

1 143 Northwestern Avenue 
Austin, TX 78702 

Voice: 512.478.8600x18 /Fax: 512.478.8600 
Email: lindal@pactaustin.org 

JIM THOMAS 

Western Representative 
Access Tucson 
124 E. Broadway Boulevard 
Tucson, A2 85701 

Voice: 520.624.9833 xl20 / Fax 520.792.2565 
Email: jthomas@accesstucson.org 

RUSSELL EDWARDS 

Northwest Representative 

2241 72nd Avenue S. / Bldg. C 

Kent, WA 98032 

Voice: 253.479.0200x109 

Email: russelle@pugetsoundaccess.org 

CHAD JOHNSTON 

Southeast Region 

The People's Channel 

300AC S. Elliott Road 

Chapel Hill, NC 27514 

Voice: 919.960.0088 / Fax: 919.960.0089 

Email: johnston@thepeopleschannel.org 

DALE GEMINDER 

Central States Representative 
AccessVision 

67 W. Michigan Avenue, Suite 112 
Battle Creek, MI 49017 
Voice: 269.968.3633 / Fax: 269.968.2924 
Email: dale@accessvision.tv 



AT-LARGE REPRESENTATIVES 

ANTOINE HAYWOOD 

People TV 
190 14th Street NW 
Atlanta, GA 30318 
Voice: 404.873.6712 x203 
Email: antoine@peopletv.org 

JOHN BLOCH 

6 Winter Street 
Montpelier, VT 05602 
Voice: 802.229.4734 
Email: john@bugleg.com 

PETER ZAWADZKI 

Brookline Access Television 
194 Boylston Street 
Brookline, MA 02146 
Voice: 617.731.8566 
Email: speter@wcatv.org 

SUE BUSKE 

The Buske Group 

3001 J Street, Suite 201 

Sacramento, CA 95816 

Voice: 916.441.6266 / Fax: 916.441.7670 

Email: sue@buskegroup.com 



JULIENNE TURNER 

Concord Community Television 

170 Warren Street 

Concord, NH 03301 

Voice: 603.226.8872 / Fax: 603.226.3343 

Email : julienne . turner® gmail . com 

BETTY YU 

Manhattan Neighborhood Network 

537 West 59thStree 

New York, NY 10019 

Voice: 212.757.2670 / Fax: 212.757.1603 

Email: yu@civilrights.org 

DISCRETIONARY APPOINTEES 

JAMES HORWOOD 

Legal Affairs Appointee 

Spiegel & McDiarmid 

1333 New Hampshire Avenue NW 

Washington, DC 20036 

Voice: 202.879.4002 / Fax: 202.393.2866 

Email: james.horwood@spiegelmcd.com 

ALLIANCE EMAIL LISTS 

Access Forum 

Open to anyone interested in community media 
topics. Send subscription request to access-fo- 
rum-subscribe@lists.alliancecm.org 

Equal Opportunity 

Open to anyone interested in equal opportunity 
topics. Send subscription request to alliance- 
eo-subscribe@lists.alliancecm.org 

Alliance Announce 

Open to members of the Alliance for Com- 
munity Media interested in community media 
topics. Send subscription request 
to alliance-announce-subscribe@lists.al- 
liancecm.org 

USEFUL CONTACTS 

Federal Communications Commission 

The Portals 

445 12th Street SW 

Washington, D.C. 20024 

Voice: 202.418.0200 / Fax: 202.418.2812 

www.fcc.gov 

Your Federal Legislators: 

Office of Senator 

United States Senate 
Washington, D.C. 20515 
www.senate.gov 

The Honorable 

United States House of Representatives 
Washington, D.C. 20510 
www. hous e . gov 

U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 

Voice: 202.224.3121 



2008 POST-CONFERENCE ISSUE ■ 3 



From the Executive Director 

Greetings Alliance Members! 



BY HELEN SOULE 




Helen Soule, Ph.D. # 
has provided leader- 
ship to the public 
and nonprofit sector 
at the local, state, 
and national level for 
over 25 years. Most 
recently, Dr. Soule 
served as executive 
director of Cable in the 
Classroom, the cable 
industry's education 
foundation. At the U.S. 
Department of Educa- 
tion, Soule was chief 
of staff to the assistant 
secretary for the Of- 
fice of Postsecondary 
Education. For eight 
years, she was director 
of the Mississippi State 
Department of Educa- 
tion Office of Technol- 
ogy, with responsi- 
bilities ranging from 
technology to text- 
books to professional 
development. Her local 
experience includes 
being a teacher and 
district-level school 
administrator. 



I t is an honor and pleasure for me to lead 
I the Alliance for Community Media as your 
I executive director. In the short time that 
I have been on board, I have already experi- 
enced the passionate, caring, committed, and 
professional nature of this community. I, too, 
am dedicated to the mission of the Alliance, to 
ensuring that all people have access to elec- 
tronic media at the community level in order 
for democracy to thrive. 

By way of introduction, let me tell you 
a little bit about myself. You will hear in my 
voice that I am a Southerner, accent and all, as 
I grew up in Texas and raised my family and 
spent much of my career in Mississippi. 
I received my Ph.D. in educational leadership 
from the University of Southern Mississippi. 

For more than 25 years, I worked in many 
capacities, including teacher, technology 
coordinator, state technology director, and 
chief of staff, at the state, local, and national 
level in the education field. After coming to 
Washington, I served at the Department of 
Education, and then as executive director for 
Cable in the Classroom. To each position I 
brought a dedication to providing all people 
with equal access to the technology and media 
tools needed to ensure a quality education and 
an enthusiasm for lifelong learning. An exten- 
sion of this passion for empowering individu- 
als through the use of media and technology 
came with my first experience with public, 
educational, and governmental (PEG) access 
more than 20 years ago. 

In our town, we had a City Council that 
was not functioning well. Efforts to defeat 
the ineffective council members had not been 
successful. Then the community PEG channel 
began to air the City Council meetings. All 
of the sudden, what the few had observed was 
seen by the entire community. The next elec- 
tion had a very different and decidedly positive 



outcome — a victory that confirmed for me the 
importance and power of community media 
for a strong, effective democracy 

We all know this is a critical time in 
the development of community media, as 
the landscape is changing every day Issues 
abound, but it is not a time to give up — it is 
a time to stand up. I encourage each of you 
to stand with the Alliance by ensuring your 
membership is current, by contributing to our 
Keep Us Connected campaign, and by actively 
participating in Alliance activities. 

We have already had a successful begin- 
ning to the Keep Us Connected campaign. 
Thanks to the efforts of Alliance members 
Michael Max Knobbe of BronxNet and 
Barbara Popovic of Chicago's CAN TV, the 
House Appropriations Subcommittee on 
Financial Services and General Government 
held a hearing on PEG access on September 
22, 2008. The members attending were very 
supportive of and the hearing resulted in 
Chairman Jose Serrano (D-NY) and Repre- 
sentative Mark Kirk (R-IL) volunteering to 
send a letter to the Federal Communications 
Commission about the PEG issues we raised. 
Be sure to read the detailed article about 
the hearing that appears on page 46 of this 
magazine. 

As your leader, my focus is to strengthen 
the Alliance, to increase its membership, and 
to stand up for you — and with you — in Wash- 
ington, D.C., and across the nation to ensure 
that our mission is fulfilled and our democracy 
thrives with the help of community media. 

Helen Soule 



4 ■ COMMUNITY MEDIA REVIEW, SUMMER/FALL 2008 



From the Board Chair 

A Time of Opportunity 



BY MATT SCHUSTER 




As I reflect on the 2008 Alliance for 
Community Media Conference and 
Trade Show in Washington, D.C., one 
main thought keeps coming to mind: This is 
an exciting time of opportunity for the com- 
munity media movement. 

The national Keep Us Connected cam- 
paign was launched with a concentration of 
our members making congressional visits. 
This campaign is a long-term effort that will 
continue in the years to come, but we are 
already seeing success. The Alliance and our 
members were instrumental in setting up the 
first congressional hearing on PEG in January 
of this year. 

And now, a second congressional hearing 
was held in September that, once again, had 
an Alliance for Community Media represen- 
tatives as a witnesses. This second hearing 
is a direct result of our members' efforts as 
part of the first phase of the Keep Us Con- 
nected campaign. As this work continues, we 
will need additional resources to provide the 
support to reach our long-term goals. Please 
consider making a donation to the Alliance for 
these efforts. 

In addition to our public policy work, the 
community media movement is poised to take 
full advantage of new media technologies in 
helping to build our communities and effect 
social change. As mentioned to me by Laurie 
Cirivello of Grand Rapids Community Media 
Center, community media has not seen a time 
of opportunity like this, due to technology, 
since the advent of the Portapak, the first 
portable video recording system, in the late 
1960s. 

In the decades since then, our work has to 
continue to evolve and change to incorporate 
new communication technologies. We need to 
be the experts in community building through 
media who can assist our communities in how 



to best use media to meet their goals. I look 
forward to continuing to be a part of this 
evolution. I also look forward to a time when 
"new media" is no longer seen as something 
new, but is simply viewed as another tool for 
us to use. 

The value in what we do on a daily basis 
is not rooted in the technology or even in the 
communications medium. Our value is rooted 
in the stories we tell in our communities, in 
how we keep people connected, and in the 
difference people and organizations can make 
in their communities through our facilities. It 
is those stories, and the faces of the people on 
either end of the communications path that 
bring us credibility. 

Whether it is youth, like those from 'Olelo 
Community Television, independent pro- 
ducers like Graciela Rivera Oven, nonprofit 
organizations, teachers, elected officials, or 
the countless other people who use media, all 
of these people breathe life into what we do. 
This diversity of people creating change and 
building community through media helps to 
define our movement. I encourage everyone 
to be bold and seize this time of opportunity. 



Matt Schuster is chair of the ACM Board of 
Directors. He manages the national award- 
winning goverment access channel MetroTV in 
Louisville, Kentucky. Previously, he was cable TV 
coordinator/station manager for Lake County, 
Illinois, and Meridian Township, Michigan. All 
three channels received multiple national awards 
from NATOA and the Alliance's Hometown 
Video Festival, including Overall Excellence in 
Government Programming. Matt also serves 
on the ACM Central States Region Board. He 
received his Master of Arts in Telecommunications 
from Michigan State University. Contact him at 
matt.schuster@louisvilleky.gov. 



Our value is 
rooted in the 
stories we tell in 
our communities, 
in how we keep 
people connected, 
and in the 
difference people 
and organizations 
can make in their 
communities 
through our 
facilities. 



2008 POST-CONFERENCE ISSUE ■ 5 



Conference Reflections 



■ BY DEBORAH VINSEL 



As a 25-year member 
of the Alliance, 
Deborah Vinsel 
has served on the 
Central States, 
Western Region, and 
Northwest regional 
boards and on the 
National Board of 
Directors. In 1999, the 
Alliance recognized 
her commitment to 
the organization by 
honoring her with 
the Buske Leadership 
Award. In 2003, 
she was co-chair of 
the local planning 
committee for the 
national conference 
held in Tacoma, 
Washington. Deborah 
also coordinates the 
Hometown Video 
Awards. Deborah has 
worked in community 
media since 1983, 
managing PEG access 
centers in three 
different states. 
She is currently the 
executive director at 
Thurston Community 
Television in Olympia, 
Washington. 



Hello again! As I write this, it's been 
exactly four weeks since we gathered 
in Washington, D.C., for the annual 
Alliance for Community Media Conference 
and Trade Show. It was, in a word, great! 

I have attended (dare I say it) 2 5 national 
conferences. We've seen remarkable changes 
in our industry, our organization, technology, 
and federal policy over the past two decades. 
But as the saying goes, the more things 
change, the more they stay the same. 

I attended my first Alliance (formerly 
NFLCP) conference in 1984, in Denver, 
Colorado. The setting was majestic with the 
Rocky Mountains towering in the distance. 
I met wonderful people, some of whom 
mentored me as I grew as an access advocate 
and many of whom I am proud to have as 
friends today The conference hosted a great 
trade show with the latest in "portable" analog 
video equipment that made it easier to create 
content for our channels. The Cable Act of 
1984 was pending and the public policy com- 
mittee worked into the wee hours every day 
drafting our suggested language and planning 
a strategy to communicate our concerns to our 
elected officials in Washington, D.C. 

Now, fast forward to 2008. Washington, 
D.C, is another majestic setting. Flying in, 
I glimpsed the Jefferson and Lincoln me- 
morials with the dome of the Capitol and 
the Washington monument towering in the 
distance. At the opening reception, we an- 
nounced the creation of the Alliance for Com- 
munity Media Video File Sharing Social Net- 
work, the latest in technology that makes it 
easier to share content for our channels. I met 
many wonderful people new to the Alliance 
and rekindled old friendships. In anticipation 
of a new federal administration, we launched 
the Keep Us Connected Campaign to bring 
our concerns to our elected officials with the 



hope of securing supportive legislative and/or 
policy changes in the next Congress. 

For the entire 2 5 -year span of my career, 
I can't remember a conference at which we 
weren't planning new ways to tell our story, 
talking about potential threats to our ex- 
istence, or getting the latest public policy 
update. However, though the past 25 confer- 
ences have been similar, in some ways each 
one has been unique. Every year we get to 
experience the regional culture of the city 
that hosts us. The local access centers bring 
their individual personalities, resources, and 
volunteers together to support our gathering. 
We greet new members and welcome new 
organizations to our fold. We share ideas, 
marvel at new technology, and ponder visions 
of what community media can become in our 
changing world. 

We come together as colleagues to recon- 
nect, not only with each other, but with that 
spark in each of us that keeps us involved in 
this movement. We learn much from attend- 
ing conference workshops, and often more 
from sharing a cup of coffee over breakfast. 
We challenge ourselves to think beyond our 
current paradigm to a future of new media and 
our place in it. We build our movement on the 
foundation set by those who preceded us, and 
strengthen our resolve to protect it for those 
yet to come. We share stories and a cold beer. 
We dance. We laugh. Sometimes we cry as we 
remember special people we've lost. 

I've come to expect certain things from the 
Alliance Conference. I know I'll be invigo- 
rated to continue into another year. I'll see 
old friends and make new ones. The newest 
technology will dazzle me. And, I'll be blessed 
to share the moment with some of the most 
remarkable people I've ever met. 

I can't wait 'til next year. See you all in 
Portland! 



6 ■ COMMUNITY MEDIA REVIEW, SUMMER/FALL 2008 




From the Guest Editor 

CMR Post Conference Edition 



BY DEBRA ROGERS 



Flying into Washington, D.C., is always 
such a thrill for me. As a child, it was 
one of my favorite places to visit. As an 
adult, I have come to appreciate the historic 
significance of our nation's capital. For me, 
Washington holds as much allure today as it 
did those many years ago. The significance 
of this place is never lost on those of us who 
work to insure that our neighbors have a place 
to express their views and exchange ideas. 
Walking past the National Archives and Su- 
preme Court is an affirming reminder of the 
critical nature of the work we do. 

As much as I look forward to visiting 
Washington, I equally look forward to seeing 
my Alliance for Community Media friends 
from across our country. The time we spend 
together talking and learning has been invalu- 
able to me, as I am sure it is to others. Where 
we are often isolated in our communities as 
the only access centers, once a year we come 
together to share and build on the year's suc- 
cesses. You all inspire me to do better and for 
that I am infinitely grateful. 

In this issue of Community Media Review 
we are pleased to provide a sampling of the 
numerous and wonderful workshops and 
events that took place this summer. "Creative 
Collaborations" are an important aspect of the 
work we do and Anne D'Urso Rose explains 
how Maiden, Massachusetts has knitted their 
center into the fabric of their community. 
Peter Guttmacher tells us "Why It is Ben- 
eficial for Community-based Organizations to 
Connect with Community Media," and Deb 
Vinsel brings us "Conference Reflections." 

Clodagh Rule and Betty Yu explain how 
youth programs are shaping the mission and 
direction of access centers in "Access Cen- 
ters Bring Youth Media to the Next Level." 
Laurie Cirivello moves us forward with new 
media and Sam Mayfield tells us about mak- 



ing media around the world. It was a thrill 
to hear from our three Leadership Award 
Recipients — Buske Leadership Award recipi- 
ent Tom Bishop, George Stoney Award for 
Humanistic Communication recipient Margie 
Nicholson, as well as Jewell Ryan- White 
Award for Diversity recipient Graciela Rivera 
Oven. The Hometown Excellence winners 
are highlighted by Deborah Vinsel. 

Listening to Amy Goodman and Gloria 
Tristani is always inspiring and we are fortu- 
nate to have excerpts from the keynote panel 
discussion with them, Kojo Nnamdi, and 
Mark Lloyd in this issue. Tonya Gonzales 
provides an update on the Equal Opportunity 
Caucus and how no voice is left out. Betty 
Yu brings us new ideas in training in "From 
the Community to the Community: By Any 
Media Necessary." One significant part of 
this year's conference was the Public Poli- 
cy-Keep us Connected Campaign, and Sean 
McLaughlin, Alan Bushong, Malkia Lydia, 
and others bring us up to speed on this effort. 

The common thread to any Alliance 
conference is collaboration and this was dem- 
onstrated as I have never seen before in the 
closing ceremony with storytelling and dance 
by members of Native American tribes who 
had gathered in Washington, D.C., for the 
Longest Walk 2 . In step as one, these wonder- 
ful guests of the Alliance reminded us how 
beautiful the rhythm is when we dance togeth- 
er. May the memories and stories we shared in 
July sustain you until we are together again. 



Debra Rogers has 
worked in Community 
Media for 27 years. 
She has served as the 
executive director of 
Falmouth Community 
Television in Falmouth, 
Massachusetts, for 
over 1 2 years. Debra 
has been involved 
with the Alliance 
for Community 
Media (ACM) for 20 
years, as one of the 
founding members 
of the Massachusetts 
Chapter. She served 
as the Northeast 
Region representative 
to the national Board 
of Directors from 
1999 to 2005 and will 
return to the board 
this November. Debra 
is the 2006 recipient 
of the Alliance for 
Community Media, 
NE Region Chuck 
Sherwood Leadership 
Award and the 
2007 recipient of 
the National Buske 
Leadership Award. 



2008 POST-CONFERENCE ISSUE ■ 7 



Why It is Beneficial for Community-based 
Organizations to Connect with Community Media 

■ BY PETER GUTTMACHER 



I recently had the pleasure of taking 
I part in a unique convening around 
I a very interesting topic. Sponsored 
by DCTV, our local public access 
channel, "Got Media?" brought both 
funders and providers around the ta- 
ble to discuss and explore the existing 
and potential benefits to community- 
based organizations of connecting 
through community media. There are 
three distinct ways that community 
media connects community-based 
organizations. 

First, my focus is young people. 
I am lucky enough to be part of a 
wonderful organization called the DC 
Children and Youth Investment Trust 
Corporation, whose broad range of 
services, partnerships, and initia- 
tives center around the betterment of 
Washington, D.C.'s, most precious 
resource — its young people. Our work 
brings me in contact with a wide vari- 
ety of youth-serving organizations — 
both parent centers and before- and 
afterschool programs — across the 
District of Columbia. 

Life-changing and lifesaving work 
is done in these places, yet they are 
often overlooked in the general me- 
dia. Having a forum like community 
media is indispensable in getting the 
word out about their good work, to 
bring information about their services 
and opportunities to young people and 
their families as well as to raise public 
awareness of the value and accomplish- 
ments of individual youth-serving 
programs and youth-serving programs 
in general. For example, DCTV has 
worked with community-based organ- 
izations to provide opportunities for 



Corporate consolidation 
of media has negative 
effects on consumers 
and PEG access. 



them to create their own public 
service announcements at the DCTV 
studios, which were then run on the 
public access channel. 

Media is all around us and, most 
certainly, it is all around our young 
people. Though they are targeted, 
even bombarded, by it, they rarely 
get to learn how to use it. Connect- 
ing to community media can provide 
young people with tangible and 
technical skills for the careers of the 
2 lst-century marketplace. Moreover, 
using media themselves gives young 
people a forum in which to be on the 
creating end, rather than the consum- 
ing end, of media use. They can craft 
their own messages about matters that 
are important to them. 

Young people are passionate about 
the world around them and general 
media often overlooks, trivializes, or 
co-opts things that they find to be of 
real consequence in their lives. Again, 
through DCTV's "TV Boot Camp," 
young people in several programs 
I have worked with have been able to 
experience an amazing, summer im- 
mersion in how to make meaningful, 
professional video. And as any youth 
worker can tell you, young people 
place a high premium on getting to 
DO something in the programs they 



attend. Those powerful developmen- 
tal needs of "mastery and future" and 
"self-worth and the ability to con- 
tribute" are rarely more tangible than 
they are when you are making your 
own show. 

Lastly, and perhaps most impor- 
tantly, connecting to community 
media gives young people the chance 
to connect to their communities. This 
is a two-way street. One side runs to 
youth. Young people need structure 
through which they can become more 
informed and invested in where they 
live. Investigative youth reporting, 
documented service-learning projects, 
youth mapping reports, videotaped 
oral history projects, and person-in- 
the-street interviews, all are examples 
of ways in which youth can use media 
to establish a stronger connection 
to their neighborhoods and the city 
around them. 

The other side of the two-way 
street runs to the community. Despite 
the lip service that "children are our 
future," we live in a media culture 
where young people — especially 
adolescent young people — are seen 
for their deficits, not for their assets. 
They are almost exclusively portrayed 
as victims, victimizers, problems, and 
threats to each other and to their 
communities. Yet the truth about 
young people is much richer than 
that. Young people are already think- 
ing, caring, creating members of our 
society. And every time a media mes- 
sage sheds light on that fact, we are all 
better for it. Community media, 
either in the hands of young people 
themselves, or used to highlight their 



8 ■ COMMUNITY MEDIA REVIEW, SUMMER/FALL 2008 




lives and achievements, is a powerful 
tool in creating a culture that truly 
sees and values our young people for 
who they are and what they have to 
offer. The more a community ac- 
knowledges and invests in its young 
people, the more they will reciprocate. 

I am delighted to have been both a 
part of DCTV's "Got Media?" brain- 
storming and of the 2008 Alliance for 
Community Media Conference and 
Trade Show at which we reported our 
experiences with the DCTV pro- 
gram. When it comes to connecting 



our communities and the people who 
live in them, community media has a 
tremendous amount to offer. "CMR 



Peter Guttmacher is the director 
of programming and curricula 
development at the DC Children and 
Investment Trust Corporation. The 
"Trust" was formed in June of 1999 as 
a 501(c)(3) organization to link public 
and private resources, creativity, and 
commitment to address strategically the 
long-term needs of children. 




Think about it. 



University 
of California 
Television 



Are 
maximizing 
your PEG 





Activate or enhance your education 
channel with UCTV's FREE programming! 

• 24/7 programming 

• Non-Commercial 
■ Free-to-Air 

• Available for retransmission from 

Dish Network (Ch. 9412) or C-Band Satellite 

For more information, visit 

www.uctv.tv/downlink 

or call Alison Gang at (858) 822-5060 



2008 POST-CONFERENCE ISSUE ■ 9 



Creative Collaborations 



■ BY ANNE D'URSO ROSE 



Well-designed 
collaborations 
create 

opportunities 
for our media 
centers, by 
bringing in 
resources or 
extending 
our outreach, 
without 
taxing our 
time, staffing, 
and existing 
resources. 



Collaborations knit access centers to 
their communities, weaving us firmly 
into the fabric of the cities and towns 
we serve. Well-designed collaborations also 
create opportunities for our media centers, 
by bringing in resources or extending our 
outreach, without taxing our time, staffing, 
and existing resources. A workshop during 
the Alliance for Community Media (ACM) 
Conference in July 2008 explored Creative 
Collaborations. 

Representing Maiden Access Television 
(MATV) in Maiden, Massachusetts, I spoke 
on the panel about the Cyber Cafe @ Maiden 
Square, established in 2001 as a creative col- 
laboration between MATV and several other 
local organizations. The Cyber Cafe provides 
residents of Maiden and surrounding com- 
munities with access to computers and the 
Internet, as well as basic computer training, 
all for a nominal fee. It serves as a site for em- 
ployment and financial literacy programs, and 
is now being used for multi-media production 
workshops, as an adjunct site to MATV. 

Now in its seventh year, the Cyber Cafe 
was founded by the Community Technology 
Access Coalition (CTAC), the members of 
whom are the managing partners of the Cyber 
Cafe. These organizations came together 
because it fit each of their missions to pro- 
vide this resource to Maiden, a blue-collar, 
lower- to middle-class community with a 
large immigrant population located north of 
Boston. The lead agency is Tri-CAP (Tri-City 
Community Action Project), an anti-poverty 
agency that allocates street-level space in one 
of the buildings it owns, as well as a portion of 
their federal and state grant funding to house 
and help fund the Cyber Cafe. MATV also 
contributes funding and provides resources 
such as producing promotional and training 
videos. We also help to write grants and hold 



fundraisers on behalf of the Cyber Cafe. The 
Career Place, an employment training and 
career service center, helps with funding and 
provides job training programs and resources 
at the site. The Office of State Representative 
Christopher Fallon (representing Maiden) also 
contributes funding for the project. Murray 
Learning Associates, a small business serving 
nonprofits and private businesses, provides the 
core of the technical support for the Cyber 
Cafe. The key to the partnership is that every- 
one gives and everyone benefits. 

The Cafe is operated mostly by volunteers. 
The one fall-time employee, the Volunteer 
Coordinator, was originally paid through 
CTC-VISTA and now is paid through Citi- 
zens for Citizens, a senior employment place- 
ment agency. Volunteers provide front desk 
staffing, training, and technical support. An 
advisory committee and a technical committee 
are each made up of Cyber Cafe patrons, vol- 
unteers, and members of local organizations 
and businesses. The advisory committee has a 
public relations subcommittee and an acces- 
sibility subcommittee. The Cafe Management 
Team (CTAC) meets every few months to 
address issues of funding and the overall direc- 
tion of the Cyber Cafe. 

The success of this collaboration is clearly 
shown through CTAC's daily head counts and 
patron surveys. Patrons need only fill out a 
brief membership form (and, new this year, 
pay a $12 annual fee) to use the Cyber Cafe. 
By the end of its first year of existence, the 
Cyber Cafe had more than 1,000 members; it 
has added approximately 1,000 new members 
each year. By the fall of 2006, the Cafe was 
averaging 60-plus users a day. Each of the nine 
computers was generally in use, often with a 
waiting line. However, at this same time, when 
the rent was raised at the original site, and one 
of the partners had to cut back on its funding 



10 ■ COMMUNITY MEDIA REVIEW, SUMMER/FALL 2008 



Maiden residents use 
the Cyber Cafe. 



share, CTAC faced the possibility of having to 
close the Cyber Cafe for good. At our man- 
agement meetings, we discussed strategies and 
new decisions. 

The story ended well. We contacted the 
local paper and they did a big spread on the 
possible closure of the Cyber Cafe headlined 
"Net Loss." This helped to garner public sup- 
port for this community resource and aided 
with our grantwriting and fundraising efforts. 
The lead agency, Tri-CAP, eventually decided 
to increase their role, then purchased a new 
building for their organization, and allocated 
a newly renovated space for the Cyber Cafe. 
They also were successful at securing a major 
federal grant, a portion of which was allocated 
to the Cafe. After research and patron poll- 
ing, the partners instituted the $12 annual fee. 
After leaving the former site and being closed 
for nearly six months, the Cyber Cafe opened 
at its new location in March 2007. The site, 
now across the street from MATV, is bigger, 
brighter, and airier, and hosts a training room 
with updated equipment. 

For MATV, this transition prompted us to 
reflect on the importance of this collaborative 
venture in the overall vision of our com- 
munity media center. Being a CTAC partner 
and helping to run the Cyber Cafe expands 
our outreach, particularly to the underserved 
sectors of the community — the homeless, 
disabled, unemployed or underemployed, and 
new immigrant groups. It builds on our mis- 
sion of providing access to technology and the 
training essential to its use. With the updated 
training room, the Cyber Cafe provides an 
appropriate site for new MATV workshops in 
multimedia production. This fall, we will be 
premiering a Digital Storytelling class held at 
the Cyber Cafe. 

The Cyber Cafe has succeeded and is 
continuing to thrive after seven years, even 




though entities like it in other communities 
have failed. Its success underscores the model 
of community partnering represented by 
CTAC. Clearly, the Cyber Cafe would not ex- 
ist in Maiden were it not for the collaboration 
of this handful of community organizations. 
MATV is proud to be part of this creative 
collaboration that provides such a valued 
resource to the community. 

My co-panelists presented very differ- 
ent and equally exciting types of collabora- 
tions. Rob Brading of MetroEast Community 
Media, described the collaborative structure 
of the OLLIE project (www.ollietv.org), an 
educational program that integrates media 
and technology literacy with core academic 
and community learning in classrooms and 
after-school programs. Greg Sutton of Brook- 
lyn Community Access Television described 
BRIC (www.briconline.org), a collaboration 
that presents quality visual, performing, and 
media arts programs that reflect Brooklyn's 
diverse communities, and provides resources 
and platforms to support the creative process. 
We discussed the varying levels of structure, 
formal agreements, successes, and difficulties 
each collaboration experienced. We hope that 
the workshop helped to inspire new ideas for 
collaborations or strengthen existing ones. 

What are your collaborations like? What 
are possibilities for new community collabo- 
rations? How can you help stitch together a 
new design in the fabric of your community 
to make it stronger, more functional, or more 
richly detailed? "CMR 




Anne D # Urso-Rose is 
the Assistant Director 
of Maiden Access 
Television in Maiden, 
Massachusetts. Anne 
can be reached at 
anne@matv.org. 



2008 POST-CONFERENCE ISSUE 



11 



Access Centers Bring Youth 
Media to the Next Level 

■ BY CLODAGH RULE AND BETTY YU 



Fleischmann, executive director of Cambridge 
Community Television (CCTV), created 
youth programs at her center which have 
helped ensure that their constituency keeps 
growing. Today, these youth programs have 
become a staple of the services that CCTV 
offers their community. 

Workshop attendees included both centers 
that were interested in starting youth media 
programs and those who have programs up 
and running already. 

Clodagh Rule of CCTV, whose center 
launched an afterschool program for teens 
in 2006, moderated the panel. She kicked off 
the panel by sharing a few ideas for centers to 
consider before entering into the business of 
operating a youth program. 

Panelists representing four unique youth 
media programs at 'Olelo Community 
Television in Hawaii, Manhattan Neighbor- 
hood Network (MNN) in New York City, 





1 1| |j ^ r^x* 1 K m id ^yi* i ^i 1 1 


Atlanta People TV's FUEL Media 


Grand Rapids Community Media Center's 


www. peop 1 etv. o rg/ptv_yo ut h . ht m 1 


Youth Channel 




www.grcmc.org/education/youth.php 


MNN's Youth Channel 


www.youthchannel.org 


'Olelo Community Television's 


Cambridge Community Television's 


Youth Xchange 


Youth Media Program 


www.olelo.org 


www.cctvcambridge.org/youth 


Quote-Unquote 


St. Paul Neighborhood Network's 


www.quote-unquote.org 


Youth Programs 




www.spnn.org/departments/ 




youtheducation/youth.htm 





Our next 
generation of 
media makers 
are willing 
to take risks 
and explore 
new digital 
media tools 
for distribution 
that will help 
to redefine 
"community 
media" — 
bringing it to 
the next level. 



The ACM Conference panel on "Launch- 
ing a Youth-Focused Media Program at 
Your PEG Center" proved that youth 
media is a vital fabric of today's community 
media centers and it was clear that Alliance for 
Community Media members wanted to learn 
more about its growing influence in shaping 
the mission and direction of access centers. 
One message was clear from the panel: com- 
munity media centers must work to foster the 
leadership development of youth. Our next 
generation of media makers are willing to take 
risks and explore new digital media tools for 
distribution that will help to redefine "com- 
munity media" — bringing it to the next level. 

Access centers throughout the country are 
collaborating with educational institutions, 
youth-based organizations, and individual 
young people to provide a platform that allows 
their voices to be heard in the changing media 
landscape. Nearly twenty years ago, Susan 



12 ■ COMMUNITY MEDIA REVIEW, SUMMER/FALL 2008 




Betty Yu 



People TV in Atlanta, and Quote-Unquote in 
Albuquerque told stories about their programs 
and how they have evolved over the years to 
meet the needs of their diverse communities. 
Christian Naho'opi-hose from 'Olelo Com- 
munity Television talked about the program's 
strong community focus and shared media 
about the program that really brought it to 
life. Isabel Castellanos outlined all of the ways 
that MNN's Youth Channel is working to get 
youth in their city involved in media making — 
from operating a youth channel, to running a 
peer training program for teens, to organiz- 
ing media literacy workshops for elementary, 
middle school and high school youth through- 
out New York City. Antoine Haywood shared 
public service announcements and music 
videos that were produced by teens involved 
in People TV's Atlanta program. Steve Ranieri 
of Quote-Unquote highlighted an innovative 
new project that their community media cen- 
ter helped initiate which involves launching 
a Media Arts Collaborative Charter School 
that would provide youth with access to media 
making tools and resources. 

The workshop concluded with a lively 
question and answer session. Some of the 
questions were about the implementation 
process — whether or not youth were paid 
stipends, if there was an application process, 
and where the trainings actually take place. 
Other audience members wanted to know if 
the youth programs were project based and 
how they recruited the young people. The 
panel also provided useful information and 
tips to individuals from centers that intend to 
design new youth media programs or enhance 
existing ones. "CMR 



PUBLICATIONS AND RESOURCES 



Youth Media Reporter 

www.youthmediareporter.org 

Listen Up Network 

www.listenup.org 

Teaching Intermedia Literacy Tools (TILT) 

www.tiltmedia.org/links.html 

The Free Child Project 

www.freechild.org/youthmedia.htm 

Cynthia Carrion and Antoine Haywood, 
"The Right to Public Access TV is for 
All: Making the Case for Youth Media," 
Community Media Review, Summer 2007 

www.mnn.org/en/download-cmr-issue 



Longtime community based media maker, 
educator, and activist Betty Yu is currently the 
director of community outreach & media at 
Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN), 
Manhattan's community access TV organization 
in New York City. At MNN, she provides media 
making tools and resources to organizations 
through video production training and a 
community media grants program. She can be 
contacted at betty@mnn.org. 

Clodagh Rule is the director of marketing 
and development at Cambridge Community 
Television in Massachusetts. 




Clodagh Rule 



2008 POST-CONFERENCE ISSUE 



13 



New Media Issues 



■ BY LAURIE CIRIVELLO 



This year's new media track at 
the Alliance for Community 
Media Conference was de- 
signed not as a technical series, but 
a group of workshops that helped 
attendees envision and define Web 2.0 
opportunities and practices to help 
strengthen the future of PEG services 
in their communities. 

As media centers deal with 
changes in funding, many are look- 
ing to deploy new operating and 
service models as a means to enhance 
and streamline services. The track 
was created with the premise that 
Web-based new media tools and op- 
portunities are not merely a potential 
enhancement of video production ser- 
vices and marketing, but instead, offer 
historic opportunities to evolve our 
organizations from being primarily 
TV stations to full service media and 
technology assistance centers. Central 
to each workshop were questions and 
issues related to transitions. 

Sessions one and two of this track 
were designed as primers provid- 
ing a common glossary for discuss- 
ing Web 2.0. In part one, presenters 
George Wietor (Grand Rapids Com- 
munity Media, Michigan) and Tony 
Shawcross (Denver Open Media, 
Colorado) provided general descrip- 
tions and examples of blogs, wikis, 
podcasting, widgets, and more. In 
addition, Tony provided an overview 
of how their organization, with no 
operational franchise fee support, has 
deployed the open source content 
management system Drupal to create 
public access opportunities for Den- 
ver residents. In part two, Tony was 



joined by Richard Turner, (MCT-TV, 
Montgomery County, Maryland) and 
Sam Mayfield (CCTV-Burlington, 
Vermont) to present examples of 
how specific centers are beginning to 
employ new media in their work. For 
instance, CCTV's recently deployed 
new website uses many interactive and 
new media tools. This content-rich 
site (www.cctv.org) includes online 
donation options, equipment reserva- 
tions, and the ability to order DVDs. 
The site also contains a broad range 
of media to watch online, frequently 
updated news and information, and 
the opportunity to organize and share 
content through the extensive use of 
tagging and social bookmarking tools 
(such as "digg"). 

In session three, "PEG Mission 
and the 2.0 World," Mike Was- 
senaar (SPNN, St. Paul, Minnesota), 
began by providing profound food 
for thought as he discussed Web 2.0 
and organizational change. According 
to Mike, community media centers 
and access organizations need to be 
developing strategies and building 
skills to use Web 2.0 technologies to 
further their mission. Community 
media centers and access centers often 
lack sufficient slack to invest in skills 
and people, develop new programs, or 
experiment with the freedom to fail. 
Like a rope that's too taut from exces- 
sive stretching, these organizations 
are unable to move resources to adapt 
and change. 

Asking community media centers 
to evolve under threat, or at the point 
of the metaphorical gun, as some 
governments demand, makes mat- 



ters worse. Creative organizational 
decisions made under duress are not 
necessarily good ones, nor do they 
further the development of programs 
that will meet the needs of future 
communities. Sociologists actually 
describe the conditions of nonprofits 
who serve disenfranchised popula- 
tions and have impossible demands 
to meet as "battered agencies." Many 
access centers fit this description well. 
It may or may not be comforting, but 
the problem of impossible social and 
governmental demands is present for 
many other nonprofits. Leadership is 
necessary to structure our organiza- 
tions so they can adapt, invest in and 
adopt new technologies (see sidebar, 
p. 15, for related resource materials). 

The session continued as Laurie 
Cirivello (Community Media Center, 
Grand Rapids, Michigan) detailed 
her perspectives on media centers 
as "assistive organizations" offer- 
ing a range of media and technology 
services to meet community goals and 
needs. Beginning with how we define 
ourselves, she discussed the impor- 
tance of minimizing policies and mar- 
keting positions that are self-limiting. 
She gave examples of how we can 
sometimes encourage others to see 
media centers as "only about TV" 
rather than about community com- 
munication. Laurie feels that care- 
ful examination of our missions and 
practices are the first step to encour- 
aging innovation in new media. She 
made a case that by diversifying the 
tools we have available to use, we can 
become more effective in our service, 
more invaluable to our communities, 



14 ■ COMMUNITY MEDIA REVIEW, SUMMER/FALL 2008 



Concepts and Resources on Organizational Change in a 2.0 World 



Recommendations from 
Mike Wassenaar 

On the need for proper slack 

Woods Bowman, "Organizational 
Slack, or Goldilocks and the Three 
Budgets," Non-Profit Quarterly, 
Spring 2007. 

The concept of Binding vs. Bridging 
Organizations 

Robert Putnam, Bowling Alone. 
See also www.bowlingalone.com 



Web 2.0 and organizing 
complex tasks 

Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody. 
Shirky also writes at www.shirky.com/ 
herecomeseverybody 

Web 2.0 and the ability of 
nonprofits to adapt 

Michele Martin, The Bamboo Project 

http://michelemartin.typepad.com/ 

thebambooprojectblog 

Abundance rather than scarcity 
thinking 

Michele Martin, The Bamboo Project, 
http://michelemartin.typepad.com/ 
thebambooprojectblog/2007/03/ 
killing_the_mis.html 



Focusing on Assets of Power rather 
than Lack of $, Control, Esteem, 
etc. 

Tom Borrup, "What's Radical About 
Valuing Assets as a Strategy in 
Cultural Work, " Community Arts, 
2005. www.communityarts.net/ 
re a d i n g ro o m/a rch i vef i I es/ 2005/ 09/ 
radical_whats_r.php 
Tom's work is also linked at 
www.communityandculture.com 

Connecting community media and 
future economies 

Bill McKibben, Deep Economy. 
More info at www.billmckibben.com 



more sustainable, and less vulnerable 
to changing technologies. 

Several examples were given of 
funded projects that combined new 
and traditional media tools to meet 
community goals. One was a new 
online resource center being devel- 
oped to serve the re -integration and 
job training needs of recently released 
felons. Designed by the Grand Rapids 
Community Media Center, and using 
video tutorials, online secure work- 
spaces, extensive community resource 
banks and online referral systems, the 
soon-to-be-launched site was well 
funded by foundations interested 
in reducing recidivism among ex- 
felons. To find out more about the 
center's online media activities, go to 
www.grcmc.org. 

Session four was designed to pro- 
vide insight into the actual media and 
technology needs of one of PEG larg- 
est potential growth areas: "Service to 



our Nonprofit Communities: Lever- 
aging New Tools for Building Com- 
munity." Nonprofit technology expert 
Ashima Saigal presented significant 
research illustrating how nonprofits 
are increasingly using technology 
in their work, and how PEG access 
organizations can help fill existing 
needs. Saigal works at the Johnson 
Center for Philanthropy is an aca- 
demic center focused on philanthropy 
and nonprofit leadership (www.gvsu. 
edu/jcp), based at Grand Valley State 
University in Allendale, Michigan. 

The session first revealed how 
nonprofits use technology and what 
their challenges are related to that 
use. Research shows that nonprofits 
have begun to embrace technology 
into their day-to-day operations, but 
most feel that they don't have the 
technology they need, nor do they 
have the staffing to make it work. Of 
the nonprofits survyed, 5 1 percent 



have no one assigned to technology 
and 47 percent feel their technol- 
ogy use is insufficient. Growth in the 
"IT services to nonprofits" sector 
has reinforced the premise that this 
is a significant area of opportunity. 
She also stressed that paramount to 
developing valuable media and tech 
services for nonprofits is to first know 
the programmatic needs of local 
organizations, and then to develop 
technology based solutions. 

Saigal then walked attendees 
through examples of organizations 
that are initiating "new media" based 
technology solutions for nonprofits. 
Among the sites referenced were: 

Vermont Workers' Center, 
http://vtworkerscenter.blip.tv: The 
Center has a regular program that airs 
on CCTV Their show is available 
on blip.tv. They've connected these 
videos to their website with the help 
of CCTV. 



2008 POST-CONFERENCE ISSUE 



15 



New Media Issues (continued) 



Grand Rapids Women's Chorus, 
www.grwc.org: The Chorus worked 
with the Community Media Center to 
revamp their website to make it easier 
to manage content. The site now 
saves the organization time and mon- 
ey by using a content management 
system that gives them the flexibility 
to maintain their own website. They 
also offer a database of their reper- 
toire of songs for other choruses. It 
contains information about the songs 
that can be purchased, the publisher 
and links to the composers. 

Let Us Rise, www.letusrise.org: 
Offers video to tell their story along 
with a site where content can be man- 
aged internally. 

Finally, Saigal offered the fol- 
lowing advice for centers anxious to 
expand their work in this area: 

First, technology and media are so 
fast that there are many directions and 
paths to take. Continue to research to 
uncover more of what is happening 
nationally. In this planning phase, you 
will also want to survey your nonprof- 
its, focusing on a specific area which 
you researched. 

Second, build your own organi- 
zational capacity by educating your 
staff and experimenting internally. 
Human capital investments are one 
of the most lacking in the nonprofit 
sector. You are all nonprofit organiza- 
tions. You need to invest in your staff. 
Research shows that organizations 
felt there was little time to spend on 
training and educating staff, but they 
also found the lack of staff skill to be a 
barrier to success. 



Third, begin to engage the non- 
profit community. If possible, connect 
with your local Management Ser- 
vice Organization (MSO), statewide 
nonprofit organization or local united 
way. Make sure you find a collabora- 
tion point in your community. Survey 
your nonprofits in collaboration with 
another institution in your commu- 
nity that currently provides services 
to nonprofits. Provide education and 
support through presentations and 
direct support. 

Session five, "Serving the Indi- 
vidual Voice through New Media," 
looked at new media to encourage 
greater diversity of speakers. Jay 
Dedman (independent journalist, 
Washington, District of Columbia) 
and Danielle Fairbairn (The Media 
Center, Palo Alto, California) dis- 
cussed how citizen journalism and 
digital storytelling can expand content 
creation and distribution by more in- 
dividuals. Dedman discussed his work 
as an active blogger author and online 
journalist, while Fairbairn outlined 
methods she employs when helping 
young people find their voice through 
The Media Center in Palo Alto. For 
more information on their work, go 
to www.jaydedman.com and www. 
communitymediacenter.net. 

The final workshop, "Still Say- 
ing 'No' to New Media?" provided 
an opportunity for attendees to talk 
about remaining barriers to effective 
inclusion of new media tools in their 
centers. Organized as a roundtable, 
presenters from previous workshops 
were on hand to provide encourage- 



ment and advice on issues ranging 
from marketing to outreach to city 
funding agreements. 

Overall, throughout this series 
of workshops, it was clear that new 
media tools offer significant opportu- 
nities for PEG centers that are willing 
and eager to evolve beyond strictly 
television based services. There are 
good examples of new sustainabil- 
ity models and methods that fully 
embrace new technology, not as an 
afterthought or an added perk, but as 
a core collection of new, web-based 
resources, innovatively applied to 
community service. "CMR 



Laurie Cirivello is the executive director 
of the Grand Rapids Community 
Media Center, a multi-faceted media 
center serving the West Michigan 
community with GRTV cable access 
television, WYCE community radio, 
technology and Web services support 
for local nonprofits, media education, 
and operation of the historic Wealthy 
Theatre. Previously, Laurie was the 
founding executive director of the 
Community Media Center of Santa Rosa, 
a community access and community 
networking provider. 

She co-authored the Alliance for 
Community Media's Community Media 
Start-up Manual and has provided 
consultation and support to numerous 
community based media endeavors. 

For more information contact Laurie 
at 616-459-4788 or via e-mail laurie® 
grcmc.org. 



16 ■ COMMUNITY MEDIA REVIEW, SUMMER/FALL 2008 



Making Media Around the World 



■ BY SAM MAYFIELD 



As media activists, we seek to trans- 
form the existing media culture in 
this country and thus transform our 
everyday lives in terms of the perpetuation of 
war, creating peace, feeling more connected to 
the people around us, and making our com- 
munities stronger and safer. People all over 
the world are doing the same thing. We can be 
strengthened by this commonality. 

I organized a global media panel for the 
Alliance for Community Media Conference 
and Trade Show in Washington, D.C., this 
year to highlight some of the work being done 
around the world in the name of commu- 
nity media. The 2008 ACM campaign, Keep 
Us Connected, is the perfect parlance for a 
Global Media panel. 

The idea for a global media panel had 
two inspirations: My recent trip to Ghana, 
Africa; and the realization that if we are going 
to revolutionize our media in this country, 
we need to be unified with people around the 
globe and learn from each other's experiences. 

Earlier this summer at the National 
Conference on Media Reform, Reverend 
Romal Tune said, "If we are ever going to be 
successful in changing the course of events in 
our media and on other critical issues in the 
progressive community, it is extremely impor- 
tant that we know we are supported by others 
in the community because we can achieve far 
more through unity than we can achieve on 



our own. 



On the global media panel at the ACM con- 
ference, we heard about media being made in 
Africa, India, Japan, Thailand, and Venezuela. 

Shinji Uozumi from Osaka, Japan, came 
to Washington, D.C., to share the situation in 
that country with us, saying, "There is no law 
that secures PEG channels in Japan. There is 
no obligation for cable operators to reserve 



access channels for the people, but there are 
a few instances of community channel-like 
services in Japan. There are at least 20 cable 
operators that are active in showing locally 
produced programs." 

We learned about ALBA TV in Caracas, 
Venezuela, from Jennifer Wager. She re- 
ports, "ALBA TV is a continental network 
of progressive community TV stations and 
video collectives in Latin America and the 
Caribbean. Founded in 2007, ALBA TV is 
currently focusing on the formative stage of 
developing capacity in various Latin American 
nations to sustain community video produc- 
tion and distribution. To that end, they have 
sent international brigades of media teachers 
and organizers to Ecuador and Nicaragua 
to lead workshops in 'cine popular' or the 
community-based media production." You 
can find out more at www.albatv.org. 



If we are going 
to revolutionize 
our media in 
this country, 
we need to be 
unified with 
people around 
the globe and 
learn from 
each other's 
experiences. 




Sam Mayfield and NatAyer interviewing Gifty and Selete Nyomi, directors of 
Coastal Television, Ghana's first and only community access television station. 



2008 POST-CONFERENCE ISSUE 



17 



Making Media Around the World (continued) 



Since media is 
made in so many 
ways around 
the world, 
it behooves 
those of us in 
the community 
media move- 
ment to learn 
from each other 
on all levels. 



We also heard from Ryanne Hodsdon, 
who taught video blogging to journalists in 
Thailand while working with StopHuman 
Trafflcking.org. The bloggers and journalists 
were already aware of the importance of social 
media and putting video on the web. They just 
needed to learn the basic techniques to make 
it happen. 

In India, Ryanne worked with local people 
documenting daily life. Videoblogging, in this 
sense, brings us closer to people all over the 
globe and gives us access to a way of life that 
would otherwise not be accessible. You can 
view her videos at http://ryanedit.blogspot. 
com/ search/label/india. 

In Africa, my colleague Nat Ayer and I 
worked with Coastal Television, Ghana's first 
and only independent community media out- 
let. We were there for the inaugural celebra- 
tion of their television station and to support 
the great work they are doing. 

Similar to community access in the United 
States, Coastal Television produces program- 
ming that reflects the community it serves. 
They host shows that educate the community 
on local affairs and they engage the com- 
munity on many levels. Since the channel's 
beginning in May 2007, they have used text 
messaging as a means of getting feedback from 
the community. They scroll a message at the 
bottom of the screen asking viewers to "text 
this number if you enjoy this program and 
want to see more like it." 

They also used text messaging early on to 
determine what the official language of their 
station would be. They asked viewers if they 
would like general programming to be in 
English or in their local language, Fanti. They 
received tremendous response from the com- 
munity and ultimately decided to use English 
as the standard language. Coastal Television 
has a gorgeous future in Ghana. They have 



incredible staff and are dedicated to making 
their community a better place through com- 
munity access television. 

Since media is made in so many ways 
around the world, it behooves those of us in 
the community media movement to learn 
from each other on all levels. Policy, technol- 
ogy, outreach, content, and the list goes on. 
By sharing knowledge and learning from each 
other, we learn about global communities. 
The value of knowing the ways in which other 
people make media and build community 
through media is revolutionary. We have part- 
ners around the globe who are with us in this 
struggle to create a media where everyone's 
voice is equally and honestly represented. 

We hope that global media panels will be 
common at all media conferences. There is no 
doubt that the community media movement 
is strengthened when we are connected with 
each other. "CMR 




Sam Mayfield lives in Burlington Vermont 
where she works for CCTV/Center for Media 
and Democracy. She has been working with 
community access television since 2001. She 
recently returned from Ghana, Africa, where she 
worked with the first community access television 
station in the country. Mayfield is dedicated to 
independent media, free speech, and building 
bridges. 



18 ■ COMMUNITY MEDIA REVIEW, SUMMER/FALL 2008 



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The Alliance for Community Media recognized three individuals for their outstanding 
contributions to the field of community media at the ACM National Conference and 
Trade Show in Washington, D.C., on July 12, 2008. 
The Buske Leadership Award was presented to Tom Bishop, Executive Director of Media 
Bridges in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Buske Award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated 
commitment to the mission and goals of the Alliance for Community Media, leadership within 
the organization within the last three years, a high degree of involvement in the organization 
nationally, regionally and at the chapter level, and continuing service to the Alliance. 

The George Stoney Award for Humanistic Communication was presented to Margie 
Nicholson, a faculty member in the Arts, Entertainment and Media Management Department 
at Columbia College Chicago. The Stoney Award is given to an organization or individual 
who has made an outstanding contribution to championing the growth and experience of 
humanistic community communications. 

The Jewell Ryan-White Award for Cultural Diversity was presented to Graciela Rivera 
Oven, co-producer and host of Revista Semanal Montgomery at Access Montgomery 
in Montgomery County, Maryland. This award recognizes those persons who show an 
outstanding contribution to a process that encourages, facilitates, or creates culturally diverse 
and/or non-mainstream community involvement in the field of community media. Her speech 
was not available as of press time. 

ACCEPTANCE SPEECH BY TOM BISHOP 
THE BUSKE LEADERSHIP AWARD 

I 'm told by those who have received this award before that this speech is to be one of thanks, 
I inspiration, and a challenge. 

Since my time is short, I won't be able to name all of those who deserve it, but there are 
a few I must mention. Dirk Koning, who inspired me. Brian Wilson, who challenged me to be 
better than I ever thought I could be. Steve Fortiede, who I call "Sensei." My parents and sisters, 
who encouraged the comic book reading geek who took apart their radios and played with the 
8mm film camera all the time. 

And most of all I want to thank my sweetie, Liz. Those of us who have served the Alliance in 
one capacity of another know how important the support of those we leave at home is to what we 
do. As much as this award and all of you mean to me, nothing means more than when my sweetie 
tells me she is proud of the work I do. 

I also want to thank every one of you I've ever served on a board with in the Alliance. You 
have made me better than would have been otherwise. 

And to anyone in the organization who has ever given me a kind word, a hand up, or a kick in 
the pants when I needed it, thank you. 

And now for the inspiration and challenge. One branch of my family has worked, and still 
does work, in the coal mines of Appalachia, so I've developed an interest in the labor movement. 



20 ■ COMMUNITY MEDIA REVIEW, SUMMER/FALL 2008 



One of my heroes in that movement is Phillip Vera Cruz who was a member of the Agricultural 
Works Organizing Committee in California, and later the United Farm Workers. He said, "If 
not you, then who? If not now, then when?" 

Unfortunately for all of you I was also raised in the Pentecostal Church, where we have a 
tradition of call and response, so please, when I raise my left hand, say it with me. 

If not you, then who? If not now, then when? 

The last time we gathered in D.C., there were more than 600 of us. Now we are in the mid- 
3008, yet in some ways we are stronger than ever. We're not fighting for our first camera and half 
a staff member. We're defending hard-fought-for ground in our communities. 

If not you, then who? If not now, then when? 

We are in the fight of our lives. Literally determining whether media of the people, by the 
people, for the people, will continue to exist in our country. 

If not you, then who? If not now, then when? 

You may have a beef with someone in this room. Don't tell me about it. Don't tell your 
neighbor at the table. Go to the person you have the beef with and confront the issue. Work with 
them to find a solution. We don't have time for the petty stuff. 

If not you, then who? If not now, then when? 

Here at our conference we need you to show love to our staff, vendors, and sponsors. With- 
out them, we'd all be sitting at home instead of gathering here to push our movement forward. 
Show them you appreciate what they do for you. 

If not you, then who? If not now, then when? 

Your communities need you now more than ever. In a climate where money talks and com- 
mercial media has more of it than anybody, the work you do for the people at home is vital. We 
need you to do even more. 

If not you, then who? If not now, then when? 

How many of you have contributed to the Keep Us Connected fundraising campaign? The 
money you contribute is the lifeblood of our fight. 

If not you, then who? If not now, then when? 

How many of you have been to the Hill to speak to your Congressional representatives? 
What are you waiting for! ! ! 

If not you, then who? If not now, then when? 

Turn to the person next to you and point right at them. 

If not you, then who? If not now, then when? 

Turn to the person on the other side and do it again. 

If not you, then who? If not now, then when? 

Say it with me. 

If not you, then who? If not now, then when? 
Say it loud. 

IF NOT YOU, THEN WHO? IF NOT NOW, THEN WHEN? 
Say it real loud. 

IF NOT YOU, THEN WHO? IF NOT NOW, THEN WHEN? 
Thank you. 

Tom Bishop is the executive director of Media Bridges, a nonprofit media arts organization that 
programs four cable channels in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was recognized for his long-standing and 
personal commitment to the mission and values of the Alliance for Community Media, his willingness 
to work with the broad constituency represented within the organization, and his leadership within 
the organization for more than 13 years. Mr. Bishop has served in leadership roles at all levels of the 
organization, including Central States Chair, Vice Chair of the Ohio/Kentucky Chapter, and Chair of the 
National Board of Directors. 




2008 POST-CONFERENCE ISSUE 



21 



Alliance for Community Media Awards (continued) 
ACCEPTANCE SPEECH BY MARGIE NICHOLSON 

GEORGE STONEY AWARD FOR HUMANISTIC COMMUNITY COMMUNICATIONS 




Margie Nicholson, fac- 
ulty member in Arts, 
Entertainment and 
Media Management 
at Columbia College 
Chicago, has managed 
the program of sup- 
port for media centers 
at the MacArthur 
Foundation, served on 
grant review panels for 
the National Endow- 
ment for the Arts 
and the U.S. Depart- 
ment of Commerce's 
Technology Opportu- 
nities Program, and 
organized conferences 
on communications 
and leadership with 
the Donors Forum of 
Chicago, Executive 
Service Corps, Commu- 
nity Media Workshop, 
and International Lead- 
ership Association. 
Her handbook, Cable 
Access: Community 
Channels and Produc- 
tions for Nonprofits, 
was published by the 
Benton Foundation. 
Ms. Nicholson was 
instrumental in the 
launch of Chicago's 
cable access channels, 
CAN-TV Network. 



When I got the email from Matt Schuster announcing that I would be receiving the 
George Stoney Award, I was so excited that I immediately forwarded the message to 
many of my friends and colleagues. One of the first people to reply was Steve Kapel- 
ke, provost of Columbia College Chicago, where I am a faculty member in the Arts, Entertain- 
ment and Media Management Department. Steve told me that he had studied documentary 
filmmaking with George Stoney at New York University in the 1970s and he praised George's 
documentary, All My Babies, as a classic, reminding me once again that George, your influence 
is wide and deep among humanistic communicators everywhere. I am so honored to receive an 
award in your name. 

I also heard back from other friends who congratulated me on receiving the award and added, 
"humanistic communications: what's that? Show us!" 

I explained to them that humanistic communications is not so much about how I communi- 
cate, but more about the work that I have done — and that we are all doing — to invite, encourage, 
facilitate, support, celebrate, and amplify the self-expression and interaction of others. 

In some of my classes on management and leadership at Columbia College Chicago, I show 
excerpts from a 1957 film, Twelve Angry Men. We have a very diverse student population, so 
I have to warn my students that the jury of twelve white men is going to look a bit dated. But 
Twelve Angry Men is a rich text, as we academics like to say, because it shows one lone juror — not 
the jury foreman, judge, or designated leader — who listens, asks questions, and invites silent 
members to speak. He pursues the issues through the anger and confusion of the process until 
each juror has contributed his uniquely valuable information and the group has reached its best 
decision. 

I like to think that our work as humanistic communicators is similar to that of the lone juror 
in Twelve Angry Men. We believe that the contribution of many voices will lead to better deci- 
sions. We value not just a diverse society, but a diverse society in which people are invited and 
encouraged to contribute and to listen to one another. We believe that free expression — in all 
types of communication: analog, digital, virtual, and interpersonal — will lead to better solutions 
and a better future. 

As proof of my long devotion to the ideals of this organization, I brought along a flyer for the 
first conference of the National Federation of Local Cable Programmers, which I helped to or- 
ganize in Madison, Wisconsin, in July 1978. George Stoney was our keynote speaker. Even then 
we were concerned about challenges to cable access and community media. Times are always 
tough for visionaries and idealists — and that would include all of us. But one of the many things 
we've learned from George is to keep going. 

I'm grateful to the Alliance for Community Media for this award, for George Stoney, for all 
of my friends and colleagues, and for the fact that I met my husband, Steve Cosgrove, at a board 
meeting in Portland, Oregon, many years ago. For those of you who are considering board ser- 
vice, I have to admit that there can be added benefits. 

The Japanese have a phrase for a type of communication that takes place without words, 
from one heart to another: ishin-denshin. What I value deeply about this organization, and about 
my relationship with George Stoney and all of you, is this heart-to-heart communication, the 
foundation of all humanistic communications. In that spirit and with great gratitude, I accept 
this award. 



22 ■ COMMUNITY MEDIA REVIEW, SUMMER/FALL 2008 



Hometown Video Awards Honor Excellence in 
Community Media Programming and Operations 

■ BY DEBORAH VINSEL 



The Alliance for Community Media celebrated the 
3 1st year of the Hometown Video Awards with a 
gala awards presentation on July 10, 2008. Nearly 
1 , 1 00 entries were received this year from media producers 
representing than 30 states and two Canadian provinces. 

The Hometown Video Awards recognize excellence in 
community television programs and access center operations. 
Awards are presented to professional, nonprofessional, and 
youth producers for programming in 40 categories, with 
Overall Excellence awards presented to Public, Educa- 
tional, and Governmental (PEG) and combined PEG 
access centers in three budget divisions. This year, 116 
entries were honored as winners in their categories, with 
an additional 1 5 programs receiving Honorable Mention 
recognition. 

Thirty-seven organizations submitted entries in the 
Overall Excellence categories, 1 1 organizations were rec- 
ognized with the 2008 Overall Excellence Award. Entrants 
in the Overall Excellence categories were required to 
submit a sample of programming from their channels and 
complete a questionnaire about their operations. Each 
entry was reviewed by a panel of five judges who consid- 
ered four criteria: how well the organization demonstrated 
its value to the community it serves; the effectiveness of its 
training, outreach and community involvement; the extent 
to which a diversity of messages and voices were included 
in the programming on their channels; how well the entry 
demonstrated the use of access media as an effective com- 
munications resource for their constituents. 

Four awards were presented for Overall Excellence in 
Public Access. There was a tie in one budget division: 
■ Budget less than $200,000 

TV3 Medford, Medford, Massachusetts 

Budget $200,001 to $499,999 

The Public Access Television Corporation, 

Lake Success, New York 

Budget more than $500,000 

Arlington Independent Media, Arlington, Virginia 
Budget more than $500,000 
Cambridge Community Television, 

Cambridge, Massachusetts 



Two awards were presented for Overall Excellence in 
Educational Access: 

■ Budget less than $200,000 

Cambridge Educational Access, Cambridge, 
Massachusetts 

Budget $200,001 to $499,999 

Lowell Educational Television, Lowell, 

Massachusetts 

■ Budget more than $500,000 
no entries 

Three awards were presented for Overall Excellence in 
Governmental Access: 

■ Budget less than $200,000 
Edison TV, Edison, New Jersey 
Budget $200,001 to $499,999 

Rainier Media Center, Lakewood, Washington 
Budget more than $500,000 
Fairfax County Government Channel 16, 
Fairfax, Virginia 

Three awards were presented for Overall Excellence in 
Combined PEG Access 

■ Budget less than $200,000 
Scotch Plains Television 
Scotch Plains, New Jersey 
Budget $200,001 to $499,999 
Germantown Community Television, 
Germantown, Tennessee 

Budget more than $500,000 

KOCT — Oceanside Community Television, 

Oceanside, California 

More than 1,000 access programs produced in 2007 
were submitted in 40 different categories. Some catego- 
ries are for program genre, like Entertainment Talk Show, 
while others, like Empowerment or Democracy in Action, 
are geared to the content or impact of the program. Pro- 
ducers are separated into professional, non-professional, 
and youth, and programs are judged as a group based on 
the producer division. Although technical execution is 



2008 POST-CONFERENCE ISSUE 



23 



Hometown Video Awards (continued) 



considered, the majority of points are given for effective 
message, creativity, and content. 

The winners in the individual program categories for 
2008 are: 

ABOUT ACCESS 

BTV 20 Years of History, Alicia Fortin, Bridgewater, 
Massachusetts 

Corporate Media vs. Public Access, Jeff Dinnell and Kathy 
Bisbee, Santa Cruz, California 

ACCESS-ABLE 

Ablevision, Alisa Brugnoli, Annie Middleton, and the 
Crew of Ablevision, Maiden, Massachusetts 

ACCESS PROGRAM PROMO 

Luigi Board Promo (La Cuisine Du Garage), John Ash 
and Mark Meddaugh, West Allis, Wisconsin 
Saints Baseball Promo, David Schulte, Roseville, 
Minnesota 

■ The Flying Circus Club, Joe Cox, Tucson, Arizona 
CHILDREN'S PROGRAMS 

The King Henry Show, Guy R. Zoda, Staten Island, New 
York 

■ Channel 21 Fun Factory, HOM-TV Staff and Interns, 
Okemos, Michigan 

■ Storytime, GHS-TV, Germantown, Tennessee 
COMMUNITY EVENTS 

Try Bicycling! Stan Ng and Don Burnett, Palo Alto, 
California 

■ Altwheels Festival Video, Bruce Petschek and Lynn 
Weissman, Seven Generations Video, Somerville, 
Massachusetts 

Rickenbacker Air Show, Andrew Igdaloff and Ryan Engel, 
Gahanna, Ohio 
COMPUTER ANIMATION 

■ MTN Station ID's Word Series 2, John Akre, 
Minneapolis, Minnesota 

DoWs Day, Kayla Flam, Riverside, Illinois 
CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES 

Beltway Bistros: Spain, George Ramick, Rockville, 
Maryland 

■ Kindred, Scott Howe, Sacramento, California 

■ A Moment in Lowell, Reinaldo Rivera, Lowell, 
Massachusetts 

DEMOCRACY IN ACTION 

Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee: A Visit To 
Londonderry, Alan Sypek, Londonderry, New Hampshire 

■ Fifth Congressional District Candidates' Forum, Eric 
Stevenson, Bryan Wilkins, Nick Valcanas, and Jack Pinard, 
Lowell, Massachusetts 

DOCUMENTARY EVENT 

The Search for the U.S.S. Grunion, Joe Hunter, Newton, 
Massachusetts 

Celebrate! 100 Years, KCOM-TV, Piedmont, California 



DOCUMENTARY PROFILE 

■ NUTV Documentary School, Tinu Sinha and 
Michelle Wong, Calgary, Alberta 

Assembly Square: Past, Present & Future, Steven J. 
DeCarlo, Somerville, Massachusetts 
Groton Trails: A Guide to our Town 's Ten Best, Heather 
Hoglund, Groton, Massachusetts 
DOCUMENTARY PUBLIC AWARENESS 

■ Autism: The Wall That Knows No Limits, Mike Peden, 
Minneapolis, Minnesota 

Community Inclusion Program, Sid Lee and Marc Pease, 
Lakewood, Washington 

Nobody Knows Us, Max Lewontin, Cambridge, 
Massachusetts 
EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES 

CRLS Student Photo Show, Amy Mertl, Cambridge, 
Massachusetts 

■ Play On Words, Edward Senyk, Port Huron, Michigan 
Oliver Twist, Aubrey Seader, Caleb Baechfold, 
Amber Beaty, and Chance Lowry, Bloomington, Indiana 

EDUCATIONAL CLASS PROJECT K-1 2 

Umbrella Video, GHS-TV, Germantown, Tennessee 

■ Son of History, GHS-TV, Germantown, Tennessee 
EDUCATIONAL PROFILE 

■ A Day In The Life, Vera Elliott, Rockville, Maryland 
What's Inside Me, Naomi Ture, Mountain View, 
California 

SMI 2001 Documentary, Laura Asherman, 
Cambridge, Massachusetts 
EMPOWERMENT 

■ Youth Intern Program 2001 Television Special, SPNN 
Youth Interns, Saint Paul, Minnesota 

■ Dying for a Drink, Jarrod Fry, Medina, Ohio 
ENTERTAINMENT TALK SHOW 

In Depth with Konyka Dunson: Independent Women 
Shaking Up the Music Industry, Konyka M.B. Dunson, 
Washington, District of Columbia 

NEAUS PLACE: Keeping The Blues Alive, Kenny Neal, 
Palo Alto, California 

■ Ats a la Carte, GHS-TV, Germantown, Tennessee 
ENTERTAINMENT VARIETY 

■ The Quiet Generation Presents, Zach Martin and 
Quentin James, Cambridge, Maryland 

The Intern Carol (SF #1 11 ), HOM-TV Staff and Interns, 
Okemos, Michigan 

■ Media Week 2001 at NewTV, Joella Tepper, David 
Mokriski, Melinda Gordon, and Nick Palm, Newton 
Highlands, Massachusetts 

GAY/LESBIAN 

■ Outlook Video #230, Pride Edition, Kim Lawson, Eric 
Chong, and Raymond Donald Hong, Mountain View, 
California 

Being Lisa, Becca Louisell, Sacramento, California 
GOVERNMENT ACTIVITIES 

■ Union County MusicFest '01, William McMeekan, Jr., 
Scotch Plains, New Jersey 



24 ■ COMMUNITY MEDIA REVIEW, SUMMER/FALL 2008 



Office of Human Rights "Discrimination," OCT TV- 16, 
Washington, District of Columbia 
GOVERNMENT PROFILE 

Library News: Library Resource Sharing Program, 
Laurie Hogan, Shrewsbury, Massachusetts 

■ DOH Animal Disease Control, OCT TV- 1 6, 
Washington, District of Columbia 

■ Spotlight, GHS-TV, Germantown, Tennessee 
INFORMATIONAL FEATURE 

Arts & Crafts: Food for the Soul, Tom Gradzewicz, 
Methuen, Massachusetts 

■ It's Worth It, David Zierott, St Paul, Minnesota 
INFORMATIONAL TALK SHOW 

■ What's Up Wit That? The Fifth Grade Buzz, Andrew T. 
Willyoung and Loretta Beavers, Sunnyvale, California 
Shelby County Schools Report — "Parent Teacher 
Association, " GHS-TV, Germantown, Tennessee 

■ Twenty Bucks or Less for the Cheap Gamer, Bryan 
Smaller and Ryan Chodora, Riverside, Illinois 

INNOVATIVE 

■ The Mireless Wic Show, Christopher Lange and Steven 
Onderick, White Bear Lake, Minnesota 

■ The Mental Health News Hour, Dan Bennett, Olympia 
SW, Washington 

City in Motion, Max Lewontin, Cambridge, 
Massachusetts 
INSTRUCTIONAL/TRAINING 

Indian Vegetarian Gourmet, Hema Kundargi, Cupertino, 
California 

It's Worth It, David Zierott, St. Paul, Minnesota 

■ School Safety, Ollie Skelton, Jordan Powell and Hannah 
Anderson, Bloomington, Indiana 

LIVE FORMAT 

NUTV Sports Coverage: Dinos Basketball, Tim Mooney, 
Michelle Wong, Alex Mitchell, and Tinu Sinha, Calgary, 
Alberta 

■ LIVE Football: Centennial at Coon Rapids, CTN 
Studios, Coon Rapids, Minnesota 

■ 2007 Lowell Folk Festival, Dee Welch, Rob Wall, Joe 
Couturie, Lauren LaPointe, and Div Kuy, 

Lowell, Massachusetts 
LOCAL PERFORMANCES 

■ Union County MusicFest '07, William McMeekan, Jr., 
Scotch Plains, New Jersey 

■ A Little New Music, episode #7, Alvaro Calabia, Susan 
Gardiner, and Eugene Saunders, Rockville, Maryland 
Alice In DiscoLand, SKHS Vdeo Students, Port Orchard, 
Washington 

MAGAZINE SHOWS 

La Verne Exclusive, Angela Gangie and Megan Montalvo, 
La Verne, California 

Washington Full Circle, OCT TV- 16, Washington, 
District of Columbia 

From The Corps, Frank J. Crum, Tampa, Florida 



MAKING A DIFFERENCE 

■ EQUAL ACCESS Sign Language Television: 
"Our Advocate, " Theressa DuBois, Great Neck, New 
York 

■ HIV/AIDS: The Nation & The World, National Media 
Consortium, Inc., Washington, District of Columbia 
Wise Boyz, Dawn and Larry Natalia, Medford, 
Massachusetts 

■ Broken Voices, Ralph Rollins, JaKira Williams, and 
Shaquita Johnson, Chicago, Illinois 

MUSIC VIDEO 

■ The Black Man Clay Show, Eric Heithaus, Tucson, 
Arizona 

Fuerst Farm Family Day 2007, Hans Ihlenfeldt, 
Farmington, Michigan 

■ Skater's Dream, Troy Sparks and David Shiu, 
Bloomington, Indiana 

NEWS 

Outlook Video #227, Kim Lawson, Mountain Vew, 
California 

■ Pierce County News/PCN Best of 2007, Rainier Media 
Center, Lakewood, Washington 

■ Wake Up Germantown, GHS-TV, Germantown, 
Tennessee 

ORIGINAL TELEPLAY 

Deadly Access, Kathryn Robinson, Wallingford, 
Connecticut 

PC Noir, Dawn Natalia and Sean Carroll, Medford, 
Massachusetts 

■ A Stranger at the Window, Bailey Foust, Jessica 
Richardson, and Alex Goodman, Bloomington, Indiana 

PSAS 

■ Monitor Your Kids, Joseph Valencia, Ray Kaptur, Evan 
Mobley, and Adrianna Castillo, La Verne, California 
School Zone Safely, Randy Olson, Charleen 
Burnette, and Jon Rauch, Bremerton, Washington 
Suicide Prevention, Jordan Perry, Port Orchard, 
Washington 

SENIORS 

Elder Abuse and Senior Scams, Middlesex County Dept. 
on Aging & Piscataway Community TV 
New Brunswick, New Jersey 

Coming of Age, Joanne Fisher and Jesse Kreitzer, Newton 
Highlands, Massachusetts 
SHORT SUBJECT 

SPADE: A Critical Look At Black America, Yolanda 
Young, Washington, District of Columbia 

■ Dying for a Drink, Jarrod Fry, Medina, Ohio 
Illumination, Jette Pleasant, Riverside, Illinois 

SPIRITUAL / INSPIRATIONAL 

■ Jesus Christ, My Anti-Drug, Maya Munson, 
Lowell, Massachusetts 

National Day of Prayer, Access Tucson, Tucson, Arizona 



2008 POST-CONFERENCE ISSUE 



25 



Hometown Video Awards (continued) 



SPORTS COVERAGE 

Bombers Football, Luke Uttaro, Jack Dugan, and Derek 
Callahan, Ithaca, New York 

Montgomery College Baseball, Michael Brown, Scott 
Youngblood, and Stan Jones, Rockville, Maryland 
HoopsHIGH, Chris Frills, Marshaun Williams, and 
Jasmine Boyce, Chicago, Illinois 

SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT 

Vertical Mnids, Chelsea Sherier, La Verne, California 
Sportsnight, CTN Studios, Coon Rapids, Minnesota 
Reaching for Gold, Jon Garabedian, Lowell, 
Massachusetts 

VISUAL ARTS 

■ SculptureNow on Main Street 2007, Ann Jon, 
SculptureNow, South Lee, Massachusetts 

■ Art History Cultural Mask Project, Bryan Wilkins, 
Lowell, Massachusetts 

WEBSITE FOR PRODUCERS 

■ www.BonnieTV.com, Bonnie D. Graham, Great Neck, 
New York 

WEBSITE FOR ACCESS CENTERS 

www.ncctv.org, Lyle Anderson, Carrie Krams, Chappaqua, 
New York 

VCAM website (www.vermontcam.org), Seth Mobley and 
the VCAM staff, Burlington, Vermont 

In several instances, the judges asked for programs to 
be given special recognition. While these programs were 
not the winners in their categories, the judges felt that the 
producer's effort warranted an Honorable Mention. 
ABOUT ACCESS 

■ MCTV 1 5th Anniversary Connecting You to Your 
Community, Grace Sullivan, Mary Tenn, Audra Jennings, 
and Kathy Masso, Manchester, New Hampshire 

CHILDREN'S PROGRAMS 

MCPL Summer Reading Program 2001 — 

Clue B. Boo: Get a Clue, CATS-Martin O'Neill, 

Bloomington, Indiana 
COMMUNITY EVENTS 

Auction 2001, Lee Driver and Emily Singleton, 

Germantown, Tennessee 
DOCUMENTARY PROFILE 

■ Leo Jodoin, Salem Now, and Again, Paul K. Bisson, 
Salem, Massachusetts 

ENTERTAINMENT TALK SHOW 

Peninsula Seniors Lecture Series: Marthe Cohn — Behind 
Enemy Lines, Betty and Jarel Wheaton, Torrance, 
California 

GOVERNMENT ACTIVITIES 

■ Kids Serve Too, Pamela Gardner, Fairfax, Virginia 

■ Wastewater Management, Fran Guastadisegni, Fairfax, 
Virginia 

GOVERNMENT PROFILE 

■ When Do I Need a Building Permit? Brian Hamilton, 
Fairfax, Virginia 



INFORMATIONAL TALK SHOW 

Forward Motion, Karen Allyn, Rockville, Maryland 

■ On the Money with NEDAP, NEDAP Staff, New York, 
New York 

LOCAL PERFORMANCES 

■ Mount Hood Pops Christmas Concert 2001, Gary 
Thompson, Emily Vidal, and Keith Thomas, Gresham, 
Oregon 

MAKING A DIFFERENCE 

Could this be You? Naomi Ture and Brian Szabo, 

Mountain View, California 
SHORT SUBJECT 

■ George Washington's Mount Vernon, Patrick Balsamo, 
Fairfax, Virginia 

WEBSITE FOR ACCESS CENTERS 

www.pctv21.org, Monica C. Hughes, Pittsburgh, 
Pennsylvania 

This year, more than 70 access organizations around 
the United States volunteered as judging sites, recruiting 
more than 300 people to serve as judges. It is a monumen- 
tal task, and the Hometown management is ever grateful 
for their participation and support. 

Congratulations to all the winners. We look forward to 
seeing your work again in 2009. "CMR 




As a 25-year member of the Alliance, Deborah Vinsel has 
served on the Central States, Western Region, and Northwest 
regional boards and on the National Board of Directors. 
In 1999, the Alliance recognized her commitment to the 
organization by honoring her with the Buske Leadership 
Award. In 2003, she was co-chair of the local planning 
committee for the national conference held in Tacoma, 
Washington. In addition to serving as the interim director 
of the Alliance from April to September 2008, Deborah also 
coordinates the Hometown Video Awards. Deborah has 
worked in community media since 1983, managing PEG access 
centers in three different states. She is currently the executive 
director at Thurston Community Television in Olympia, 
Washington. 



26 ■ COMMUNITY MEDIA REVIEW, SUMMER/FALL 2008 






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Comments 



The Alliance featured a panel of distinguished PEG advocates during our Keynote Lunch 
event on Saturday, July 12. The panel included: Amy Goodman, host of the popular 
Democracy Now! program; Gloria Tristani, former FCC Commissioner; Kojo Nnamdi, host 
of the Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU; and Mark Lloyd, Vice-President of Strategic Initiatives at 
the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. The Alliance is pleased to present excerpts from this 
inspiring panel discussion. 



Amy Goodman 

It's absolutely wonderful to be with 
you here today and to be with our 
guest speakers for this luncheon. 
Independent media is absolutely criti- 
cal in this time of war. A week ago, 
I was at the Aspen Institute in Aspen, 
Colorado. And, I don't know if John 
Masters is here from Aspen Commu- 
nity Television, the oldest 
community TV station 
in the country, but they 
hosted us for two days. We 
did their first global TV/ 
Radio/Internet broadcast, 
the first one they had ever 
done. And, it was amazing 
to be there, not at an ABC 
or NBC or CBS studio, 
but to be in the middle of 
the community with com- 
munity media. That is its power. 

I was also on a panel — the con- 
trasts are interesting — with a group 
of pundits we often see on all of the 
networks. You know those pundits 
who know so little about so much, 
explaining the world to us and getting 
it so wrong, talking about the horse 
race. You represent something very 
different. You represent a forum for 




Amy Goodman 



grassroots voices m your community 
that are essential to the functioning 
of a democratic society. The fact that 
public access TV is under attack is 
unacceptable and we must all fight 
back. 

How is it possible, when digital 
capacity is exploding, when the costs 
of doing video, the tools of video 
production are actually decreasing, 

how is it that public access 
TV is facing its greatest 
challenge? Well, that is 
simply an opportunity for 
us to join together and 
demand that the public be 
included in the public dis- 
cussion in this country that 
is absolutely essential, not 
only for this country, but 
because we are the most 
powerful country on earth, 
what you do, whether this battle suc- 
ceeds for public access TV, is a model 
for media all over the world. The 
stakes are very high. I see the media 
as a huge kitchen table that stretches 
across the globe that we all sit around 
and debate and discuss the most 
important issues of the day — war and 
peace, life and death. And, anything 
less than that is a disservice to the 



service members of this country who 
can't decide whether they will be sent 
to kill or be killed. They can't have 
these debates on military bases. They 
rely on us and civilian society to have 
these discussions. Anything less than 
that global kitchen table is a disservice 
to a democratic society. 

We have three speakers today. 
We're going to begin with Kojo 
Nnamdi, who is the host of the Kojo 
Nnamdi Show, a live talk show pro- 
duced at WAMU here in the nation's 
capital weekdays at noon. He also 
hosts the Politics Hour as well, and is 
seen on WHUT, the Howard Uni- 
versity television, eight o'clock on 
Fridays, and on Sundays as well with 
the Evening Exchange with Kojo. One 
of the projects he is spearheading 
after the conventions will be Kojo In 
Your Community, going around to talk 
about the communities of this country 
or hearing from the countries of the 
world. He's talking about really the 
countries in the most powerful capital 
on Earth, right? — the nation's capital, 
Washington, and its surroundings. 
Kojo In Your Community is his latest 
project. He'll begin the discussion. 



28 ■ COMMUNITY MEDIA REVIEW, SUMMER/FALL 2008 



Kojo Nnamdi 



Thank you very much. Good after- 
noon. I have a daily routine in which I 
drive to work between eight and nine 
in the morning, when WPFW radio 
is airing Democracy Now! It's a three- 
step routine. One, turn on the radio. 
Two, find Democracy Now! Three, steal 
ideas. And, it works very well. Democ- 
racy Now! offers such a wide variety 
of ideas that there is all this food for 
thought and discussion there. I am 
also given to quoting intellectuals. So, 
allow me to start with Frantz Fanon 
who said, "It is the role of each gen- 
eration, out of relative obscurity, to 
discover its mission and either fulfill 
it or betray it." I suggest that, for this 
generation to discover its mission in 
an increasingly sophisticated global 
economy, is a very difficult task and 
we have to apply ourselves to that task 
very diligently. 

But, there are two things we know. 
One is that, as a socio-economic 
system, capitalism tends invariably 
toward monopoly. And, we can see 
that manifesting itself clearly in the 
media today. The second thing we 
know is that people who are in the 
business of media and broadcasting 
for the purpose of making a profit, for 
the purpose of satisfying the desires 
of their shareholders, do not like the 
idea of giving anything away. And, 
because we know those two things, it 
helps us, I think, to understand our 
mission a little better. 

When I first became Chair of the 
Public Access Corporation in the 
District of Columbia in a previous 



millennium, I thought 
that I had been recruited 
because I had broadcast- 
ing skills and because I 
had programming experi- 
ence. And, then, I quickly 
discovered that that was 
not the reason that I had 
been recruited. This came 
home to me most forcefully when I 
found myself, along with our Execu- 
tive Director, Nantz Rikard, conduct- 
ing a two-person sit-in in the mayor's 
office in the District of Columbia in 
order to draw attention to our need 
for a new facility and the obstructions 
that we were encountering in obtain- 
ing that facility. I say that to say that 
in very many ways the future of paid 
access sits in this room today, that in 
fact, when we are confronted by an 
increasingly monopolistic media en- 
vironment, a media environment that, 
as Amy pointed out in the beginning, 
is increasingly reluctant to give us 
the access that we should have to the 
airways that we own, we do have to 
find ourselves becoming increasingly 
sophisticated in our organization in 
order to combat that. 

We do have to find ourselves 
becoming increasingly involved in 
the political process on the one hand 
to make sure that elected officials, 
both at the local level and at the 
national level, understand the priority, 
the immediacy, and the necessity of 
PEG access. And, we also have to be 
involved at the social level. We have 
to be politically active and we have to 
make it a social mandate in the same 
way that universal health care should 




Kojo Nnamdi 



be a social mandate, that 
there should be a social 
mandate. And, the only 
way we can do that is if we 
continue to be involved, if 
we understand increasingly 
the level of sophistication 
of the organization of com- 
mercial and mainstream 
media, if we understand that we have 
to recruit more and more people to 
be a part of our movement in order to 
continue that fight, the future of PEG 
access starts in this room and expands 
exponentially. 

Amy Goodman: 

Our next speaker is Gloria Tristani. 
She's now an attorney with a firm 
here, Spiegel & McDiarmid. Most 
significantly, she is a former Commis- 
sioner of the FCC, and was recently 
the President of the Benton Founda- 
tion. While an FCC Commissioner, 
Gloria Tristani advocated for minority 
ownership of broadcast properties, 
for equal employment opportunity 
roles, she also worked to accelerate 
broadband deployment to rural and 
other under-served areas, and advo- 
cating for the E-Rate Program, which 
provides discounted Internet access 
to schools and to libraries. She also 
served for a few years on the New 
Mexico State Corporation Commis- 
sion, the first woman elected to that 
commission and its Chair in 1996. 
In 2002, she was the Democratic 
candidate for the U.S. Senate in New 
Mexico. Spanish is her first language. 
Gloria Tristani... 



2008 POST-CONFERENCE ISSUE 



29 



Keynote Comments (continued) 



Gloria Tristani 

I am a former FCC Commissioner 
and I'm not going to talk to you about 
the technical side of PEG or produc- 
ing. I don't know anything about that. 
But, I am going to talk to you about 
how you make your voices heard in 
the political world, in the halls of the 
Congress, which I know you've been 
doing this week, and at the FCC be- 
cause that's something I know a little 
bit about. 

I like to tell the story — and Mark 
Lloyd, who you'll hear from next, 
knows this story because he lobbied 
me when I was at the FCC. I was 
there from 1997 to 2001 in another 
era. I never counted, but, I would say, 
of 100 visits a week from lobbyists, 
there were maybe two from what I 
call the public interest. Truly, truly. 
And, even with the resurgence in 
interest in these matters, I bet you it's 
maybe 5 of 100. You are under-repre- 
sented at the FCC and you probably 
know that. But, what I'm here to tell 
you is that there's no need for you 
to be under-represented there. I saw 
a lot of hands when they said how 
many people visited the Hill. Could 
I see how many hands of people who 
visited the FCC this week? (Several 
hands go up.) 

Okay. And, congratulations to you 
that did. Now, you might say, "Why 
should we visit the FCC when they've 
been stepping on us of late?" Well, 
let's start with there were two com- 
missioners who did everything they 
could — and are still doing everything 
they can — on behalf of PEG. And, 



the other three, you can't 
let them off the hook. You 
have to go there and let 
them know that they've 
done the wrong things. 
And, you have to go there 
with a positive message 
that you have a wonderful 
and unique product that 
no one else is producing. 
I mean I don't know of any com- 
mercial media that has a program in 
Spanish to give the Spanish-speaking 
community, which is made up mostly 
of immigrants, any kind of advice 
or help. I don't know of any other 
in this region. There may be others, 
but I don't know of any commercial 
program that does that. 

So, my message is — it's very, very 
simple. It's you have to be at the 
doors. And, I know you can't come 
to Washington all the time. But, you 
know what? FCC Commissioners 
travel quite a bit and their schedules 
are supposed to be public. So, if you 
hear they're in town for some hear- 
ing or meeting, demand to see them. 
They are there, they're appointed to 
guard the nation's airwaves, every- 
thing that has to do with communica- 
tions, everything that's important to 
you, and they're not there to rep- 
resent industry. It's not the Federal 
Communications Business Commis- 
sion, although sometimes it might 
seem that. It's the Federal Communi- 
cations Commission, with a mission 
to serve, first and foremost, the public 
interests and to further localism, 
diversity, and competition. 

So, you have to absolutely make 
it your mission from today on to 
stay — you know, there's this Keep Us 




Gloria Tristani 



Connected [campaign]. 
Stay connected or start 
getting connected to the 
FCC because in addition 
to the world as we know 
it, the world's going to 
change in January. It may 
be better. It may not be a 
lot better. But, the FCC 
will change. So, there will 
be some opportunities and you have 
to be ready to seize those opportuni- 
ties. I know you've been talking about 
that. I know I've heard about putting 
together a program for the Hill, for 
the Capitol Hill, on what you need 
from the Capitol. But, you know 
what? Even under the best scenario 
in January after the elections, it's not 
going to be easy because if you're 
redoubling your efforts — and I hate 
to call it the other side — industry, 
commercial media, will be redoubling 
their efforts on how to stop anything 
positive happening for your commu- 
nity. So, you need to work very hard 
on that. 

When you make those visits, 
whether they're on the Hill, or to the 
Commission, speak from the cora- 
zon — speak from the heart. Take good 
examples. If you have programming 
you can show them, show it to them. 
I've heard a lot of passion here today. 
Take that passion with you. I mean 
commissioners are human beings. 
Congresspeople are human beings. 
They are moved by the unique sto- 
ries. Make it relevant to them. Some 
of them don't have any clue what 
PEG access is. Some of them have 
never been invited to be on PEG ac- 
cess. All political people love to be on 
TV, including PEG access, it's part of 



30 ■ COMMUNITY MEDIA REVIEW, SUMMER/FALL 2008 



their being. So, get them on. Get the 
commissioners on as well. They love 
to have exposure. I know. I've been 
there. I like to be asked to be on pro- 
gramming and talk about the issues 
that are important. 

I'm going on for too long, but 
I cannot stress enough on how you 
should be connected. And, don't just 
go to visit the FCC and the Congress 
people when you're playing defense 
and when you have a problem. Go 
and keep them advised all the time. 
Give them good stories. They don't 
want to hear just the problems; they 
want to hear the good things. So, it's 
a constant process. It's constant work. 
You're going to say you don't have 
the resources. This — I can't tell you 
enough. You ought to know it, that 
PEG is under attack. We just had 
a terrible court decision, so you're 
not going to be able to depend on 
the courts to fix things. I mean who 
knows? There might be a miracle in 
the making. Don't count on it. So, 
you've got to make your case before 
the Congress. 

And, the last thing and I'll let 
Mark go on. There will be a new 
President. And, a lot of people are 
making assumptions it might be this 
guy or that guy. You can't make any 
assumptions. You've got to be pre- 
pared for either scenario. I don't know 
if anybody in the ACM community 
has drafted something to submit to 
either the Democratic Platform Com- 
mittee or the Republican Platform 
Committee that includes PEG. I don't 
know. I just thought about that. If 
you haven't, get it before the Plat- 
form Committees. You've got to let 
them know you're alive. No one else 



is going to do it for you. No one else 
is going to do it for you. It's wonder- 
mi to work with allies in the media 
advocacy community, but at the end 
of the day, you are the best and you 
are the only spokespeople for PEG. 
So, make those voices heard. Make 
them heard from the corazon — from 
the heart. And, I'd be happy to talk 
more about that. 

Amy Goodman: 

Mark Lloyd will speak next. He's vice 
president of strategic initiatives at 
the Leadership Conference on Civil 
Rights. He's also an affiliate profes- 
sor of Public Policy at Georgetown 
University, and has written the book, 
Prologue to a Farce: Communication and 
Democracy in America. It says, "in- 
spired by Madison's observation that a 
popular government without popular 
information or the means of acquir- 
ing it is but a prologue to a farce or a 
tragedy or perhaps both." Mark Lloyd 
has crafted a complex, powerful as- 
sessment of the relationship between 
communications and Democracy 
in the United States. In Prologue to 
a Farce, Mark argues that citizens' 
political capabilities depend on broad 
access to media technologies, but that 
the U.S. communications environ- 
ment has become unfairly dominated 
by corporate interests. Mark Lloyd. . . 



Mark Lloyd 

Thank you Amy. Can you hear me? 
It's really wonderful to be here. There 
was a dream of cable. It started out 
community antenna television as you 
probably all know. And, a guy named 
Nick Johnson had the notion that 
somehow we were going to be able 
to combine closed-circuit television 
and community antenna TV. And, 
maybe we'd have as many as 12 or 15 
channels, and that all sorts of voices 
in communities that were locked out 
of the three major networks — if you 
had three, and maybe public televi- 
sion — that all sorts of voices would be 
heard, that we'd be able to hear from 
educational officials and from govern- 
ment officials. And, maybe there'd 
even be a place for the public to come 
and speak on cable. That was a vision 
of cable maybe 20, 30 years ago — was 
it that long ago? Yeah. 

One of the advantages was that 
you couldn't get cable without per- 
mission from local officials. You had 
to dig up the streets, you had to use 
public roadways, you had to use the 
rooftops, that somehow in order to be 
able to get to all those communities, 
you had to go to each local commu- 
nity to get officials, who were elected 
and paid for by the public — consum- 
ers we like to call you — that you 
needed to get the permission of the 
local community in order to get your 
market. So, the local folks had all this 
power and the dream of cable was 
assured. It was guaranteed. What hap- 
pened? I mean how could it possibly 
be that something that giant corpo- 
rations have to go to the local com- 
munity to get permission to use your 



2008 POST-CONFERENCE ISSUE 



31 



Keynote Comments (continued) 



streets and rooftops to get a franchise 
agreement, how could it be that the 
place where the public comes to speak 
could have any trouble at all? 

Oh, well, listen. Let's not worry 
about it because we're going to have 
a new election, and a new President, 
and all this is going to be fixed. Not 
only will we have a post-racial envi- 
ronment, we will have a post-problem 
environment. Right? All this is going 
to be solved with a new administra- 
tion. 

Hmm. The dreams that we had 
of cable are now dreams about the 
Internet. The Internet is going to be 
this vibrant place. You're going to be 
able to get Democracy Now! and Kojo 
Nnamdi, and maybe even read some 
of Gloria's papers and her speeches 
from the old FCC. And, the Internet 
is going to be this amazing tool. And, 
like, why worry about public access? 
Okay. Why worry — the Internet's 
going to solve all these problems, 
just like cable is going to solve all the 
problems of the three major networks, 
like television was going to solve the 
problems of radio, like radio was 
going to solve the problems of the 
newspapers. 

How could we be here? As Amy 
said, I think as Kojo and Gloria sort of 
ratified, we really don't have a democ- 
racy. We don't have a place where we 
can discuss issues that are important 
for us. We don't have a local, much 
less a national or an international 
kitchen table, if we are not able to 
come together to discuss our common 
problems of inequality in America 
which seems to be increasing, of lack 
of healthcare services, of young men 
and women losing their lives in a war 
that no one can really explain. How 



could we be here when 
you've got the power in 
your local communities 
to make sure that cable 
doesn't even get from 
household to household? 
Right? Those are public 
streets that they have to 
use. Right? 

The rules matter. 
I was on television for a number of 
years and I paid no attention to the 
fact that there were rules there that 
created an environment where people 
had to actually find people like me to 
go into communities to talk to people 
in church basements, in migrant 
fields, and community shelters to 
find out what they were interested 
in and to make sure those programs 
were put on commercial television. 
It was called ascertainment — come 
and gone. All right. The rules matter. 
The rules matter. And, once you get 
the rules, you must fight everyday to 
make sure that those rules work for 
you. The moment that you decide 
that your public interest can be left to 
folks who have a very clear interest of 
making money, that you can wait, that 
things are fine, you will lose. The mo- 
ment that you decide that you don't 
have to fight anymore to advance 
something, or that some new technol- 
ogy is going to solve the problem, the 
moment you decide that you can rest, 
that you don't have to put the energy 
into it, you have lost. 

But, it's not just you who have lost. 
If you are unable to create an ability 
where you can have that local or na- 
tional, that state or that global kitchen 
table, you end up in a war that you 
don't want. You end up with a health- 
care system that doesn't make sense 
to you. The results of the lack of a 
coherent and intelligent communica- 
tions policy that supports a democracy 




Mark Lloyd 



ways- 



are too evident, despite the 
fact that we have a black 
man named Barack Obama 
running for President, 
despite the fact that we've 
got really someone who was 
a Republican maverick, who 
helped to push campaign 
finance reform bills, and 
bucked his party in many 
despite the fact that we've got 
these folks running for President, 
this democracy I would argue is in 
trouble, and at least as much trouble 
as PEG access is. 

What happened to the dream 
of cable? I would strongly urge you 
to remember at least a few of the 
victories. One of the few victories of 
the communications reform move- 
ment was the fact that, despite Ronald 
Reagan's enormous and amazing 
popularity, and the fact that you had 
this juggernaut in the Hill support- 
ing Reagan and then the first Bush, 
we were able to get a cable bill passed 
that supported the ability of local 
communities to demand public access 
operations. And, that bill was passed 
over the veto of Reagan and then over 
the veto of Bush. Imagine that. And, 
it was my former boss, the Clinton 
administration, that signed into law 
something that sort of did away with 
that victory in the 1996 Telecommu- 
nications Act because they didn't stop 
fighting, because the cable companies 
didn't stop fighting, and they're not 
going to stop fighting tomorrow, 
whoever is in the White House. 

So, we have to keep fighting, and 
we have to be very practical. One of 
the things that I write about in my 
book is — I write a bit about public 
access operations. But, I also write a 
good deal about Barbara Popovic's 
operation at Chicago Access Net- 
work. And, what I think they do that's 



32 ■ COMMUNITY MEDIA REVIEW, SUMMER/FALL 2008 



very, very smart is that they don't just 
let people come in, although they 
let people come in. They go out and 
make sure that they are reaching out 
into their community, that they are 
making sure that the ACLU and a 
wide variety of other groups know 
that there's an opportunity to come 
and use their operation to speak and 
put programs on. They help. They 
teach. They train. They make sure 
that those voices understand how to 
use the platforms that are available. 
And, not only do they reach out to the 
so-called nonprofit — what a horrible 
word. Not only do they reach out to 
social justice organizations in local 
communities, but they also make sure 
that there's a place for the local politi- 
cians in the communities. And, so, 
the local politicians are in a position 
where they understand how important 
access is. 

It's extraordinarily important to 
provide opportunities for free expres- 
sion. Please, please use that medium 
that you have, as Gloria suggested, 
to make sure that you do establish 
the kitchen table in your local com- 
munity, that you put on the local and 
global programs, such as Amy's, that 
you do things to make sure that you 
get your communities to understand 
that the service that you provide is 
vital. And, what they're going to do 
is they're going to work to make sure 
that your signal is degraded, that it 
doesn't look as pretty, and you've got 
to fight those battles. They're going 
to work to make sure that the studio 
that you've got isn't as attractive as 
the studio that you had maybe five 
years ago, that the money runs out. 
They're going to make the connec- 
tions tougher for you once they move 
to fiber or Internet platforms. They're 
going to do all those things and 
you've got to fight all those battles. 
You cannot allow any of those seem- 
ingly small rules to just sort of go by 



the wayside because they harm you. 
They harm your ability to connect. 

What happened to the dream of 
cable? So, in many ways, it's the same 
dream that we have of America. In 
many ways, it's the same dream that 
we can really have a place where we 
can discuss issues that are important 
to us and that my voice is really as im- 
portant, as viable — if I can make any 
sense at all — as the voice from Mobil, 
or as the voice from AT&T, or as the 
voice from Comcast, or as the voice 
from almost any other corporation 
that you can imagine. The way that 
we set our system up in America was 
that political quality meant the ability 
to communicate equally which is what 
the U.S. Post Office was going to do 
for us, the most advanced system in 
the world. We are very, very far away 
from what it was that our structure 
established. 

What happened to the dream of 
cable? It's the same thing that hap- 
pened to the dream of America. And, 
we've got to fight for them both and 
we cannot rest or assume that any one 
election, any one win, or any one loss 
is going to be the end of that story. 
I look forward to your questions. 
Thank you very much. 

Amy Goodman 

Democracy Now! broadcasts around 
the world on public access stations 
here, community radio stations, PBS, 
NPR stations, on the Web. We video 
and audio podcast and air on stations 
all over. A listener was listening to a 
broadcast in Sydney, Australia on Ra- 
dio Skid Row and called in and said, 
"How is it possible that the poor- 
est station in Australia has the best 
coverage of the war?" But, I think we 
can come back here to this country 
with this. What is it about public 
access that gives it the richest cover- 
age? It's all of you and the forum you 
provide for all of the people in your 



community. It is so important. I mean 
because those marginalized communi- 
ties, people who are opposed to war, 
people who are opposed to torture, 
people who are speaking for their own 
communities, are not a fringe minor- 
ity. They're not a silent majority, but 
the silenced majority — silenced by the 
corporate media. Which is why we 
have to take the media back, and you 
are in the most powerful position to 
do that. You rallying your constituen- 
cies. 

Folks are going to be here to talk 
to you afterwards. I'm going to go to 
the back and sign some books. The 
last one I wrote with my brother, 
David, called — well, the book's title, 
Standing Up to the Madness, I think 
it represents what we have to do 
now — ordinary people in extraordi- 
nary times. It's all the people in all 
of our communities. And, we begin 
and end the book with a story of a 
brother and sister in Nazi Germany 
named Hans and Sophie Scholl. They 
weren't Jewish. They were German 
Christians. And, they thought what 
can we do in the face of the Nazi 
atrocity? And, they thought the best 
they could do was get out information 
so that the Germans would never be 
able to say we didn't know. So, they 
started, together with their professor, 
to publish a series of pamphlets. And, 
they'd see these pamphlets ... all over 
the country, giving voice to the people 
who weren't being heard. And, the 
fourth of the six pamphlets said across 
the front, "We will not be silent." 

Well, the Gestapo caught Hans 
and Sophie. They caught them. They 
charged them. They tried them. 
And, they convicted them. And, they 
beheaded them. But, that philosophy, 
that motto should be the Hippocratic 
Oath for media today, of public access 
stations today. And, that is, we will 
not be silent. Democracy Now! "CMR 



2008 POST-CONFERENCE ISSUE 



33 



Alliance for Community Media's 
Equal Opportunity Caucus 

Ensuring Inclusiveness & Diversity at All Levels of ACM 

BY TONYA GONZALEZ 



The value 
of the Equal 
Opportunity 
Caucus cannot 
be overstated. 



For the last three years, the Equal 
Opportunity (EO) Caucus has been 
centered on the notion that everyone is 
part of equal opportunity: no voice should be 
left out or marginalized. For a national organi- 
zation that represents the interests of millions 
of people who, through their local religious, 
community and charitable groups, use PEG 
access to communicate with their member- 
ships and the community as a whole, the value 
of the EO Caucus cannot be overstated. 

History 

The caucus was created in the 1990s as a sort 
of reaction to the limited diversity within the 
Alliance for Community Media, at all levels of 
the organization. The EO Caucus is made up 
of ACM members from across the U.S. His- 
torically, during ACM's annual conference, the 
members convene the caucus for the purpose 
of reviewing ACM activity as it relates to Af- 
firmative Action and Equal Opportunity poli- 
cies. The caucus also recommends a candidate 
for the Equal Opportunity Representative 
position to the ACM Board of Directors. The 
caucus is open to any ACM member. Accord- 
ing to the ACM Bylaws: 

The Equal Opportunity Committee shall 
be made up of at least one member 
from all other standing and ad hoc 
committees of the Board. The EO 
representative appointed by the Board 
shall chair the EO Committee. 

This structure allows ACM to have an inte- 
grated approach to ensuring inclusion — from 
the openness of the yearly caucus to the fall 
representation on the board and among all 
the committees. During the last four years, 



the structure has been enhanced to allow for 
greater accountability and transparency. 

Recent Accomplishments 

Recent accomplishments of the EO Caucus 
include the development of a more organized 
approach to annual caucus meetings and the 
development of the core values statement, 
below. 

CORE VALUES STATEMENT 

Support the input of youth in our 
movement. Facilitate the broad repre- 
sentation of youth across all aspects of 
ACM 

■ Expand definition of diversity 

■ Work to develop/maintain an organi- 
zation that reflects the makeup of our 
communities 

■ Reduce barriers to participation at all 
levels of our organization 

■ Support the exchange of information 
to facilitate participation in all areas of 
community media 

In addition, the caucus created an annual 
EO Resource Guide. It also wrote bylaws for EO 
affiliates and obtained an Employer Identifica- 
tion Number (EIN) for EO, both of which 
will assist with obtaining affiliate status. 

Leadership 

In 2008, the EO Caucus selected Jasmine 
White (a colleague at DCTV) to chair the 
EO Caucus and I will serve as co-chair. Jackie 
Steven will serve as secretary and Sunshine 
Dixon will serve as treasurer. 

Goals for 2008 to 2009 

The 2008 EO Caucus identified a few key 
priorities for 2008 to 2009, including: 



34 ■ COMMUNITY MEDIA REVIEW, SUMMER/FALL 2008 



CONFEREN 



A fnofments 



■ EO will use online technology to in- 
crease communications in between the 
annual caucus meetings 

■ Update the EO Resource Guide based on 
feedback from the 2008 caucus 

■ Provide EO updates and ratings follow- 
ing annual ACM conferences to evalu- 
ate what worked well and what areas 
may need to be improved 

EO Track — pursue creating an EO 

track at the conference 

Create an EO page or section for CMR 

■ Increase caucus members' ability to 
network during the conference. 

We welcome your ideas and feedback as 
we work to accomplish our goals. 

I have served as the EO Representative for 
the last four years and it has been an absolute 
honor. Remember that EO truly means every- 
one — and it will take all of us to create a more 
just and fair society. "CMR 




Tonya Gonzalez is the Director of Community 
Affairs for DCTV # located in Washington, D.C. She 
serves on the national ACM Board of Directors 
and is the Equal Opportunity Chair. She received 
her JD from the University of Maryland School of 
Law and worked at PBS before joining DCTV. She 
resides in Washington, D.C. 




2008 POST-CONFERENCE ISSUE 35 



From the Community, to the Community: 
By Any Media Necessary 

An Overview of the Programming, Training, and Content 
Management Track at the 2008 Alliance for Community Media 
Conference and Trade Show 

■ BY BETTY YU 



At the 2008 Alliance for Com- 
munity Media Conference 
and Trade Show in Wash- 
ington, D.C., the Programming, 
Training, and Content Management 
track gave attendees an opportunity to 
share methods of drawing out issues 
from diverse communities, and differ- 
ent ways of bringing these issues back 
to communities using a broad array of 
media and educational forms, going 
beyond our cable TV channels. The 
track encompassed a broad array of 
programmatic, training, and content 
issues that community media cen- 
ters face on a day-to-day level across 
the country. The sessions sparked 
meaningful dialogue and created a 
forum for access centers to share their 
experiences and best practices. It 
also provided information, tools, and 
resources for implementation back at 
our respective centers. The confer- 
ence also offered an opportunity to 
expose Alliance members to the train- 
ing and programming strategies of 
other kinds of media centers, besides 
access centers, to help broaden our 
perspective and discourse. 

As our centers strive to expand 
and improve our training models, 
embrace new technologies and media 
tools for distribution, and cultivate 
youth as media makers, we must hold 
steadfast to the mission of empower- 
ing and building community through 



media — whatever tools they may be. 
The sessions in this conference track 
focused on some key areas and strate- 
gies that we hope centers will find 
useful and workable as we bring our 
field of community media to the next 
level: 

Community media centers 
are exploring new alternative 
training strategies and models. 
Some centers are employing 
project-based learning mod- 
els that are student-centered, 
drawing from the life experi- 
ences of the participants. Some 
are also incorporating media 
literacy to provide tools for 
participants to deconstruct the 
corporate media. 

■ Access centers are working with 
producers to supplement their 
distribution methods beyond 
the channels by teaching them 
how to create their own video 
blogs and assisting them in 
building an audience online. 

■ Our centers are fostering a 
new generation of community 
media producers and media 
makers. Many access centers 
are acknowledging the powerful 
role that youth play, bringing 
creative perspectives and for- 
ward thinking to the communi- 
ty media field that goes beyond 
just the television medium. 



■ Centers are striving to be more 
responsive to the immediate 
needs of and current issues that 
are facing the communities 
they serve. A number of access 
centers are increasing program- 
ming based on social issues 
through creative community 
collaborations, curating locally- 
produced media, seeking pre- 
produced media that addresses 
communities' concerns, and 
diversifying their outreach to 
community-based social change 
movements. 

■ Public, educational, and gov- 
ernment (PEG) centers are 
embracing new media tools 
for distribution. An increasing 
number of PEG organizations 
are transforming themselves 
into multimedia community 
centers, providing community 
producers with access to a full 
range of distribution platforms 
such as videoblogging, social 
networking, creating and dis- 
seminating DVDs, and sharing 
programming through file- 
sharing projects. 

In "Increasing Social Justice 
Programming at Your Center," 
moderated by longtime community 
media veteran Rika Welsh, panelists 
discussed the different ways that PEG 
centers could expand their program- 



36 ■ COMMUNITY MEDIA REVIEW, SUMMER/FALL 2008 



matic potential in areas related to 
social justice. This session explored 
the role of access centers in amplify- 
ing social justice and local community 
issues in the face of increased media 
consolidation and a shrinking media 
environment for independent voices. 
Panelists from Manhattan Neighbor- 
hood Network, Seattle Community 
Access Network, and other access 
centers talked about how they have 
increased their programming based 
on social issues through creative com- 
munity collaborations, proactively 
reaching out to traditionally mar- 
ginalized communities, and seeking 
pre-produced media that speaks to the 
communities they serve. 

Marshall Parker of SCAN TV in 
Seattle (www.scantv.org) talked about 
how their center has translated their 
training curriculum into Spanish and 
Chinese to meet the growing re- 
quests for media access by immigrant 
communities. Marshall expressed the 
importance of accessing the needs of 
local communities and of learning 
what their issues are in order to un- 
derstand what role access centers can 
play in amplifying socially relevant 
messages. 

Keali'I Lopez of 'Olelo Televi- 
sion in Hawaii (www.olelo.org) spoke 
about the role of their Community 
Access center in preserving the lan- 
guage, heritage and culture of Native 
Hawaiians throughout the Islands. 
'Olelo Television's six community 
media centers located throughout the 
islands offer community members the 
opportunity to create programs by, 
for, and about their own communities. 



When it was my turn to pres- 
ent, I spoke about how Manhattan 
Neighborhood Network (www.mnn. 
org) had diversified its outreach to 
community groups engaged in social 
change efforts through creative col- 
laborations and facilitated produc- 
tions (productions crewed by MNN 
staff). Currently, MNN is collaborat- 
ing with community organizations in 
Manhattan that have been fighting 
displacement of low-income residents 
and people of color from their neigh- 
borhoods, particularly in the Lower 
East Side, East Harlem, and Central 
Harlem. MNN is partnering with 
the Coalition to Protect Chinatown 
and the Lower East Side and other 
groups in Harlem to produce a TV 
series called New York Not for Sale for 
cablecast on MNN's channels, to post 
the shows online, and to screen the 
videos around the city. I also shared 
a resource list of media organizations 
that generate social justice program- 
ming and make these shows available 



to access centers at low to no costs 
(see sidebar, below). 

The last speaker, Rivka Sadaran- 
gani of Portland Community Media 
(www.pcmtv.org) in Oregon, high- 
lighted her center's efforts to build 
local partnerships. They worked in 
partnership with the Southeast Uplift 
Neighborhood Program — a nonprofit 
coalition of 20 neighborhoods in 
southeast and northeast Portland — to 
help them use community media to 
advance their housing rights issues. 
Working with local homeless and 
housed community members, they 
produced the video Transforming 
Homelessness in Portland: What Can You 
Do? PCM also designed and imple- 
mented a custom media education 
program for Southeast Uplift staff and 
volunteers. 

In another conference session, 
Program Sharing and New Distribu- 
tion Platforms for Community Media 
Centers, participants learned about 
new forms of content distribution. 



RESOURCES FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE PROGRAMMING 



These media organizations provide social change themed programming that 
is either free or low-cost. Contact the groups directly for videos. 

Manhattan Neighborhood Network, http://www.mnn.org/en/socialjustice 

Media Edge created a two-hour video magazine program that showcases 
local and progressive voices, "We the Media," www.wethemedia.tv 



2008 POST-CONFERENCE ISSUE 



37 



From the Community, to the Community (continued) 



Online Distribution 
Platform Resources 

www.blip.tv 

www.archive.org 

www.hub.witness.org 

www.twitter.com 

www.utterz.com 

www.ning.com 

www.vimeo.com 

www.miro.com 

Resources for Media 
Literacy 

New Mexico Media Literacy Project 
www.nmmlp.org 

Center for Media Literacy 
www.medialit.org 

Manhattan Neighborhood Network 
Youth Channel 

www.mnn.org/en/medialiteracy 



Carlos Pareja of Brooklyn Com- 
munity Access Television opened the 
workshop by speaking about some of 
the new media classes offered by his 
center, Brooklyn Community Access 
Television, including Videoblog- 
ging 101, The Community of Online 
Video, and Emerging Web Technolo- 
gies. He talked about how diverse 
communities can benefit from online 
tools for finding crew and talent or 
sharing and collaborating on content. 
Jennifer Wager of MNN presented 
on how innovative Web 2.0 portals 
(see sidebar) offer vast potential for 
content sharing and distribution. 
Wager also stressed the need for PEG 
centers to reframe and reinvent distri- 
bution. For example, she pointed out 
how, in the age of cross-posting files 
and embedding code across multiple 
online sites, the idea that viewers go 
only to TV channels for information 
is inadequate. PEG centers need to 
embrace the idea of various sources, 
offering similar content across many 
distribution conduits. 

Daniell Krawczyk, a longtime 
community media advocate, brought 
it back to the basics, talking about 
how important it is for community 
media centers to know their particu- 
lar community's needs in order to be 
effective in using these new online 
sharing and collaborating platforms. 
He underscored how, although these 
platforms may be new, they should 
be looked upon as tools to continue 
the mission of PEG centers. Kraw- 
czyk acknowledged the degree to 
which community media centers vary 
in terms of financial and personnel 



resources and discussed the impor- 
tance for centers to assess their needs 
and their resources. Emily Frazier of 
Vermont State Access (www. Vermont 
access.net) talked about the file- 
sharing project among the twenty- 
five access centers that make up the 
Vermont Media Exchange (VME). 
The VME has developed open source 
technologies to share content and 
keep these resources accessible to the 
small rural access centers in Vermont 
with limited budgets. 

Shireen Mitchell of Digital Sistas 
closed the panel by. She showed a 
mainstream media clip she uses in 
her training program (www.youtube. 
com/user/digitalsista) of a Nintendo 
commercial depicting women as pas- 
sive consumers of the game system. 
Mitchell dissected the clip, asking, 
"How are women, especially women 
of color, being framed as users of 
technology? Are they being stereotyp- 
ically framed as frivolous users, like 
in this Nintendo commercial?" She 
explained how she uses these com- 
mercials in Digital Sistas' technology 
training to incorporate media literacy 
as part of her organization's approach. 
The panel wrapped up with a lively 
discussion about the role of emerging 
digital forms of content distribution 
as community media centers evolve 
beyond being just cable channel 
operators. 

The Media Literacy 101 session 
presented speakers from three differ- 
ent community media centers who 
shared tips on how to integrate media 
literacy into general production curri- 
cula. Mary Harmon from Santa Rosa 



38 ■ COMMUNITY MEDIA REVIEW, SUMMER/FALL 2008 



Community Media deconstructed a 
news clip from her local news network 
and demonstrated how even facts, 
when placed into a distorted context, 
can be misleading. Mary Pumphrey 
from St. Paul Neighborhood Net- 
work talked about the importance 
of teaching media literacy with 
youth-specific programs. Similarly, 
Vanessa Bateau from MNN's Youth 
Channel gave an overview of the 
Youth Channel's "Mind over Media: 
Who's in Control" curricula, which 
she uses as a guide for critical think- 
ing discussions with Youth Channel 
participants. 

While all of these participants had 
different approaches to integrating 
more media literacy activities into 
their curricula, they all agreed that it 
was worthwhile to set aside at least 
one hour of a training production 
class to allow community produc- 
ers to learn about media literacy and 
develop critical analysis skills. Facili- 
tation of screenings, followed by dis- 
cussions, was another activity that the 
presenters agreed was a powerful way 
to engage students in media literacy. 
These activities also provide a space 
for participants to critique their 
own work and receive feedback 
on it. "CMR 



Resources for Creating 
Your Own Videoblog 

www.freevlog.org 
www.mnn.org/en/videoblogging 

Resources for Digital 
Storytelling 

Berkeley's Center for Digital 
Storytelling 

www.sto ry ce n te r. o rg 
(under resources) 

Tech-Head — Digital Storytelling 
Resources 

www.tech-head.com/dstory.htm 

KQED TV's Digital Storytelling 
Initiative 

www.dsi.kqed.org 

MediaProf— "What is Digital 
Storytelling? 

www.mediaprof.org/projects_class/ 

videoprojects/digital-storytelling. 

html 

Manhattan Neighborhood 
Network's Digital Stories 

www.mnn.org/en/ 
watch-community-media-programs 




Longtime community based media 
maker, educator, and activist Betty Yu 
is currently the Director of Community 
Outreach & Media at Manhattan 
Neighborhood Network (MNN) # 
Manhattan's community access TV 
organization in New York City. At 
MNN, she provides media making 
tools and resources to organizations 
through video production training and a 
community media grants program. She 
can be contacted at betty@mnn.org. 



2008 POST-CONFERENCE ISSUE ■ 39 



Alliance Launches National Keep Us Connected 
Campaign at the July 2008 Washington, D.C., 
Conference 

■ BY MALKIA K. LYDIA 

We envisioned community media delegations visiting their congressional 
members, positioning us for an ambitious national goal — legislation that would 
preserve and support PEG and community media. 




ore than 350 people came 
together in July to explore 
the status and future of 



community media at the Alliance 
for Community Media International 
Conference & Exhibition. In addition 
to our traditional conference activi- 
ties — powerful sessions, trade show, 
regional gatherings, and the like — 
conference participants "charged the 
Hill" to meet with legislators and 
their staff, under the Keep Us Con- 
nected banner. 

The Alliance for Community Me- 
dia launched the Keep Us Connected 
campaign to elevate the voices of 
support for community media and to 
inject the significance of PEG access 
into the national policy conversation. 
In this issue of the Community Media 
Review, we make the case that com- 
munity media — essential to a healthy 
democracy — faces challenges that we 
must work together with our elected 
officials to overcome. 

Beginning with those four days in 
Washington this summer and con- 
tinuing over three subsequent months 
back in our legislative home districts, 
Alliance members have visited 3 5 
senate offices (that's over a third!) and 
49 House offices, for a total of 84. As 
we turn a corner in this ongoing Keep 



Us Connected initiative and enter the 
thick of the election season, it is use- 
ful to take a look at how the campaign 
came together and what we intend to 
create next. 

Organizers began work in 2007 

As an Alliance, we move our annual 
conference each year. In 2008, we met 
in Washington, D.C., for the fourth 
time in three decades. In addition to 
the usual conference goals, we wanted 
to ensure that elected representatives 
understand and continue to support 
community media as an essential tool 
in our democracy. Conference Local 
Planning Committee (LPC) members 
were eager to include Hill visits as a 
core activity, and started conference 
work a year before the conference 
started. 

At DCTV, we were inspired by a 
campaign created at our access center 
by a local nonprofit committed to full 
voting representation in Congress for 
Washington, D.C., residents. They 
used our facilities to boldly spur the 
issue into the public limelight of the 
presidential primaries. As an Alliance, 
why not proactively propel the preser- 
vation of community media into the 
national legislative agenda during this 
election season? 



Local Planning Committee work 
expands across Alliance 

A great cooperative effort grew under 
LPC leadership and included leaders 
from Arlington and Fairfax, Virginia, 
and the National Board Chair of 
Chairs and Chair of the Equal Op- 
portunity Committee. We envisioned 
community media delegations visiting 
their congressional members, posi- 
tioning us for an ambitious national 
goal — legislation that would preserve 
and support PEG and community 
media. From this vision, the national 
Board, the Public Policy Work- 
ing Group (PPWG) and the local 
planning committee created a game 
plan that encouraged every Alliance 
member to visit their Senators and 
Representatives. 

The PPWG took the ball and ran. 
Many Alliance members signed on to 
build the campaign. Key organizers 
tapped into threads on the Announce 
listserv; Rob McCausland sent mes- 
sages and e-mail blasts out regularly. 
Carl Kucharski untiringly drove the 
intensive work of the PPWG, which 
had the huge task of coordinating 
and creating messaging, materials 
and communications with invalu- 
able support from interim Alliance 
Executive Director Deb Vinsel and 



40 COMMUNITY MEDIA REVIEW, SUMMER/FALL 2008 



Matt Schuster, Chair of the Alliance 
for Community Media, explains the 
Keep us Connected campaign. 




Jim Horwood of Spiegel & McDi- 
armid. Rich Desimone of the Jersey 
Access Group, ACM Chair of Chairs 
and a member of the local planning 
committee, engaged the regional 
chairs. Paul LeValley, of Arlington 
Independent Media and the local 
planning committee, led workshops 
at regional conferences in the spring 
and prepared a "how-to" packet of 
information. 

Keep Us Connected theme 
established 

The Keep Us Connected slogan, 
branding, and buttons were contrib- 
uted by the Chicago Access Network, 
CAN TV in Chicago, Illinois. The 
inspiration and principal source of in- 
formation was the work spearheaded 
by CAN TV's Barbara Popovic, who 
worked closely with Michael Eisen- 
menger and with Randy VanDalsen 
of the Buske Group to compile 
information on and assess the dam- 
age to PEG centers from state video 
franchise laws. The resulting "Assess- 
ing the Damage" report confirmed 
the need for a proactive national 
stand, and it formed the backbone 
of the outreach literature and mes- 
saging created to support Keep Us 
Connected. 



SUMMARY OF ALLIANCE PUBLIC POLICY PLATFORM: 



I uli ■•(•] nLMIkMi mm n d I ^ kTJ ^% i L T i I zl ^ i ■ I ^ I d d »] d r/'l I 



In summary, the ACM proposes a national policy of 
"community reinvestment" through public, educational, and 
governmental access organizations which includes funds 
and bandwidth and/or spectrum that will be used for public 
purposes by: 

■ Allowing the local community which owns the public right- 
of-way to franchise and determine the best use of the 
community's property. This principle must be protected by 
Federal law. 

■ Dedicating ten percent of the public airwaves and capacity 
on communication facilities that occupy public rights-of- 
way to PEG. 

■ Mandating funding of five percent of gross revenues 
from all infrastructure and service providers and spectrum 
licensees to support PEG equipment, facilities, training, 
and services. 

■ Making PEG access universally available to any consumer 
of advanced telecommunications services capable of full- 
motion video. 



2008 POST-CONFERENCE ISSUE 



41 



Alliance Launches National Keep Us Connected Campaign (continued) 



By April of 2008, work was under 
way in the Public Policy Working 
Group to craft a clear message for the 
campaign and materials to support 
presentation of the Alliance public 
policy platform: "In summary, the 
ACM proposes a national policy of 
"community reinvestment" through 
Public, Educational, and Government 
access organizations which includes 
funds and bandwidth and/or spectrum 
that will be used for public purpos- 
es..." (See the sidebar, p. 41, for the 
full ACM National Policy Platform.) 

Registrants' visits take off 

By late spring 2008, as conference 
registrations came in, the regional 
chairs and the national office followed 
up to encourage the registrants to 
schedule Keep Us Connected meet- 
ings with their elected officials. Paul 
LeValley of AIM coordinated visits 
and provided information to the 
national office. Rob McCausland kept 
a detailed list of conference registra- 
tions and how they matched up with 
scheduled meetings on the Hill. The 
local planning committee received 
weekly snapshots of planned partici- 
pation in Keep Us Connected, and 
worked to schedule registrants not yet 
signed up for visits. 

The PPWG worked hard under 
tight deadlines to create a packet to 
leave behind. Centers had the room 
to customize their packets, adding lo- 
cal information and letters of support 
from community groups, individual 



producers and allies back home. 
Immediately after the conference, the 
PPWG and Board used the Announce 
LISTSERV to encourage Alliance 
members to continue the Keep Us 
Connected work via meetings with 
their in-district Congressional offices. 

Alliance members visit nearly 
100 offices 

So what do the results look like? 
Alliance members visited 35 Senate 
offices and 49 House offices, for a 
total of 84. That includes eleven visits 
with the offices of Senate Commerce 
Committee members and eight visits 
to members of the House Telecom 
Subcommittee, those who generate 
policy pertinent to PEG access and 
community media. 

We delivered the message to Sen- 
ate and House offices representing 
communities in each of our eight Alli- 
ance regions. On average, 16 percent 
of the Congressional delegations 
were reached within each region. The 
Northeast had the highest success 
rate — these centers met with 40 per- 
cent of the Senators and Representa- 
tives (or their staff) from that region. 

Alliance members visited 100 
percent of the Congressional delega- 
tions in Wisconsin, New Hampshire, 
and Hawaii. Senator Inouye spent 
almost two hours with the delegation 
of youth from Hawaii, taking a great 
interest in their concerns. The youth 
were proud to represent their state 
and found the meeting very inspiring. 



A group representing access issues 
nationally met with Senator Harry 
Reid's (D-NV) staff. The group in- 
cluded Barbara Popovic, Nantz Rick- 
ard of DCTV in Washington, D.C., 
Alan Bushong of CCTV in Salem, 
Oregon, and Bill Shickler, a longtime 
D.C. metro area producer. Sen. Reid 
is the Majority Leader of the Senate 
and has a primary role in how issues 
are addressed through the legislative 
process. Due to his role and his con- 
cerns about PEG in his own state, it 
was important to give Senator Reid a 
broad overview of the problems facing 
PEG access around the country, pres- 
ent the harms survey, and give some 
specific examples of harms, including 
problems facing PEG in Nevada. The 
staff spent almost an hour in a meet- 
ing scheduled for 20 minutes, care- 
fully exploring all aspects of the issues 
and the extent of the problem. 

The Jersey Access Group QAG) 
offers another example of the power 
of the Keep Us Connected cam- 
paign. During the ACM conference, 
JAG members met with the office 
of Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). 
Sen. Lautenberg's office asked for 
a follow-up meeting in-district, so 
JAG leaders issued a call to the 70 
municipal systems that make up their 
statewide coalition. Nineteen NJ 
centers responded with interest. The 
JAG members arrived at the meet- 
ing armed with data and detailed 
examples of the harms experienced by 
various townships. 



42 ■ COMMUNITY MEDIA REVIEW, SUMMER/FALL 2008 




Sen. Lautenberg's in-district staff 
were wowed — they extended the half- 
hour meeting to a 90-minute session. 
JAG members educated them on 
ten critical issues, including "chan- 
nel slamming" by one of the state's 
larger cable operators, and some cable 
operators' unwillingness to provide 
interconnection among local systems. 
Later that day, one of the major cable 
operators also met with the Senator's 
office, and Sen. Lautenberg's staff was 
equipped to evaluate and question 
each of the operators' positions from 
an informed, confident stance. His 
office then initiated farther investiga- 
tion into the cases of harm presented 
by the JAG members. 

Moving into the fall, Alliance 
members took the Keep Us Con- 
nected message to some of the public 
forums convened by the Democratic 
and Republican parties. Members of 
the ACM leadership initiated conver- 
sations within both parties' platform 
committees. 

Visits lead to House 
Subcommittee Hearing on 
damage to PEG Access 

On September 17, Representative 
Serrano, Chair of the Subcommittee 
on Financial Services and General 
Government of the House Appropria- 
tions Committee, convened a hearing 
on damage to Public, Educational 
and Governmental Access. Barbara 
Popovic of CAN TV and Michael 
Max Knobbe of BronxNet provided 



expert testimony for the Alliance and 
members across the country. 

Alliance member work at the con- 
vention was just the first step in our 
work with the Congress to enact the 
Alliance National Platform Statement 
into law. We continue that work on 
behalf of our communities as we build 
community through media all across 
America. "CMR 



Malkia K. Lydia is associate director of 
member services at DCTV/Public Access 
Corporation of Washington, D.C. 

Significant contributions to this ar- 
ticle were made by Nantz Rickard, 
DCTV Executive Director and Chair 
of the 2008 Conference Local Planning 
Committee; Rob McCausland, Alliance 
Director of Information and Organizing 
Services; and Rich Desimone, Chair of 
Regional Representatives of the Alliance 
National Board. 




Rika Welch speaking at the Keep Us 
Connected campaign plenary. 



2008 POST-CONFERENCE ISSUE 



43 



Keep Us Connected 



■ COMPILED BY SEAN MCLAUGHLIN 



Community 
media activists 
and policy 
wonks gathered 
in Washington, 
D.C., with a 
mission: "Keep 
Us Connected!" 



Fresh in the face of a stinging setback 
in Federal Appeals Court, Alliance for 
Community Media members convened 
serious policy discussions and enlisted mem- 
bers across the nation to renew advocacy 
efforts seeking both short-term relief and 
long-term solutions to preserve and protect 
community media. 

Less than two weeks before the Alliance's 
conference convened in Washington, D.C., 
the Sixth Circuit Court released its opinion 
upholding the Federal Communications 
Commission's (FCC) preemptive ruling on 
video franchising {Alliance for Community 
Media v. FCC, No. 07-3391). This ruling was a 
bitter pill for PEG advocates and many deep, 
sophisticated discussions were held to consider 
the near- and long-term impacts and to strat- 
egize about appropriate responses. 

Since we were gathering inside the Belt- 
way, Alliance members were enlisted to par- 
ticipate in the Keep Us Connected campaign. 
We called on members to immediately engage 
their elected representatives and appointed 
officials with two key points: 

1 . Public, educational, and governmental 
(PEG) access delivers the media 
localism that Congress sought in 
federal law. 

2. FCC rules and state changes to the 
franchising process require updated 



language in the federal law in order to 
continue to carry out Congress' intent. 

A report, "Assessing the Damage," included 
findings of a 2008 survey that showed that 
states with video franchise laws preempting 
local governments have experienced no rate 
relief for consumers, while substantially reduc- 
ing public benefits. Reduced PEG funding, lost 
access to PEG facilities, reduction of network 
and channel access, impaired signal quality 
and functionality, and significant new fees for 
previously free services were all documented. 
Among the report's preliminary conclusions 
about the findings was: "This outcome directly 
contradicts the purpose stated in the Cable Act 
of 1984, that franchises be responsive to the 
needs and interests of the local community." 

With documentation of substantial damage 
being done across the nation, and renewed fo- 
cus on harm being done by the FCC, Keep Us 
Connected organized state delegations for and 
coordinated meetings with ACM members to 
educate Congress and the FCC about commu- 
nity media and the Alliance's work. 

Keep Us Connected had just one request: 
Please help to restore Congress' intent to 
protect local communications that support the 
kind of free speech in civic engagement and 
strong communities envisioned by our Found- 
ing Fathers. Two specific actions requested 
were holding Congressional public hearings 



Timeline for 
FCC Video 
Franchise 
Proceeding 
(Docket 05-311) 



NOVEMBER 2005 

FCC Video Franchise 
Proceeding (Docket 
05-31 1) is opened 
at request of the 
telephone industry 



DECEMBER 2006 

FCC adopts First 
Report and Order 
in Video Franchise 
Proceeding 



MARCH 2007 

FCC Docket 05-31 1 
First Report and Order 
is released 



APRIL 2007 

Local governments 
and PEG interests file 
appeals which are 
consolidated in the 
Sixth Circuit under 
the title Alliance for 
Community Media v. 
FCC, No. 07-3391 



44 COMMUNITY MEDIA REVIEW, SUMMER/FALL 2008 



and taking legislative action to restore PEG. 

Hearings would help to inform Congress 
of the harm occurring and the damages being 
done to PEG access across the nation. Alli- 
ance members from the four directions need 
a venue to tell our story to demonstrate that 
PEG access fulfills the opportunity to provide 
media localism. 

Legislation could help for the short term, 
by providing a simple amendment to the 
Communications Act that would remove a po- 
tential restriction on how PEG funds may be 
spent. And for the long term, more substan- 
tial legislation is needed to restore Congress' 
intent for community media to provide robust 
access for diverse and local voices. 

ACM 2008 Conference Public Policy Track 

In addition to the Keep Us Connected activi- 
ties during the conference, pre-conference 
sessions offered training and support for the 
Keep Us Connected campaign. While Alliance 
members fanned out to meet with policy- 
makers in Congress and at the FCC, others 
attended workshops covering a range of public 
policy issues, including: 

PUBLIC POLICY UPDATE 

Expert panelists representing the FCC, cable 
industry, National Association of Telecom- 
munications Officers and Advisors (NATO A) 
and ACM discussed recent and pending state 
and federal legislation, FCC proceedings, and 
court cases that impact PEG access and other 
community media. 

BROADBAND POLICY: LOCAL, STATE 
& NATIONAL 

Local governments, PEG providers, and 



community activists (Free Press, et al.) shared 
their perspectives on broadband policies to 
support planning and development of ad- 
vanced telecommunications infrastructure 
for community, educational, and economic 
development. 

MEDIA & PUBLIC INTEREST: INFLUENCING 
FEDERAL POLICY 

Community media advocates from the Media 
& Democracy Coalition and allied groups 
shared some deep understanding of the chal- 
lenges and opportunities for working with 
allies to create positive leverage and build 
influence in the national arena. 

COPYRIGHT ISSUES IN THE CURRENT 
ELECTRONIC MEDIA ENVIRONMENT 

Legal experts covered the nuts and bolts of 
copyright and intellectual property issues that 
impact PEG access in light of new and ad- 
ditional issues raised by Internet technologies 
and applications, such as webstreaming. 

NEW STATE LAWS AND THEIR IMPACT ON 
PEG ACCESS 

Recently enacted state laws have had pro- 
found, and usually adverse, impacts on PEG 
access. Leading advocates from across the na- 
tion discussed the consequences of such laws 
and how they have not produced the benefits 
promised but have adversely affected commu- 
nity media. 

ASK THE LAWYERS 

At this perennial favorite, attendees had the 
chance to raise questions with lawyers who are 
leading experts in the issues confronting PEG 
access. "CMR 




Sean McLaughlin 
serves as the first 
executive director 
for Access Humboldt 
(www.accesshumboldt. 
net) a community 
media organization 
providing local broad- 
band media access, 
including TV channels, 
fiber and wireless 
network connections, 
production resources, 
training and support 
for local governments, 
educational institutions, 
nonprofit organiza- 
tions, residents, and 
visitors of Humboldt 
County, California. 

McLaughlin has 
been active in the U.S. 
national policy arena 
for decades, serving 
as an elected board 
member with the 
National Association 
of Telecommunications 
Officers and Advisors 
(www.natoa.org), and 
more recently on their 
Broadband policy task 
force in 2008. 



AUGUST 2007 

FCC deadlines (also 
known as "shot 
clock") go into effect, 
following the Office 
of Management and 
Budget approval of 
rules 



NOVEMBER 2007 

FCC adopts Second 
Report and Order 
in Video Franchise 
Proceeding 



DECEMBER 2007 

Appeals filed 
regarding Second 
Report and Order 
and held in abeyance 
pending outcome of 
pending appeal of 
First Report and Order 



FEBRUARY 2008 

Oral arguments in First 
Appeal 



JUNE 2008 

Sixth Circuit upholds 
FCC rules in First 
Report and Order 



2008 POST-CONFERENCE ISSUE 



45 



House Subcommittee Shows Support 
for PEG 



■ BY ALLIANCE STAFF 




n September 17, 2008, 
members of the Alliance for 
Community Media testi- 



fied before the House Appropriations 
Committee Subcommittee on Finan- 
cial Service and General Government 
about the increasingly hostile corpo- 
rate actions and legislative environ- 
ment public, educational, and govern- 
mental (PEG) access must try to exist 
in. Barbara Popovic, Executive Direc- 
tor of Chicago Access Network, rep- 
resented the Alliance for Community 
Media and the Alliance for Commu- 
nications Democracy (ACD). Joining 
her to testify on behalf of PEG access 
was Michael Max Knobbe, Executive 
Director of BronxNet and President 
of the Alliance New York chapter. 
Howard Symons appeared represent- 
ing the National Cable & Telecom- 
munications Association (NCTA) and 
Monica Desai testified on behalf of 
the Federal Communications Com- 
mission (FCC). AT&T was invited to 
participate but did not attend. 

The hearing was called by Sub- 
committee Chairman Jose Serrano 
(D-NY) as a direct result of visits by 
the Alliance's New York members to 
the Congressman's office as part of 
our Keep Us Connected campaign 
that launched during the national 
conference in July. Several other 
committee members had also received 
visits from Alliance Members. In all, 
ten of the 1 5 committee members at- 
tended the hearing. 

In his opening remarks, Repre- 
sentative Serrano chastised AT&T 



for not attending the proceedings. 
"Let the record show that I consider 
(AT&T's) decision not to send a wit- 
ness to be indicative of the company's 
apparent disregard of the importance 
of PEG to local communities," said 
Serrano. Representative Mark Kirk 
(R-IL), acting as the ranking minor- 
ity member, added "I'm completely 
with you on nailing AT&T for what 
they're doing to public access." 

FCC Media Bureau Chief Monica 
Desai testified first, describing the re- 
quirements in sections 611 and 621 of 
the Communications Act that defined 
franchise fees and placement of PEG 
on the basic service tier. In her open- 
ing comments, she said, "It has come 
to our attention that some program- 
mers are moving PEG channels to 
a digital tier, or are treating them as 
on-demand channels. We are con- 
cerned by these practices. We believe 
that placing PEG channels on any tier 
other than the basic service tier may 
be a violation of the statute." 

As she described the legislative 
threats to PEG, Barbara Popovic 
explained, "PEG Access exists because 
of regulations that stem from the 
1984 Cable Act. But the FCC's Video 
Franchising Orders green light a 
major regulatory shift while failing 
to safeguard PEG, ignoring local- 
ism and diversity goals mandated 
by Congress." When describing 
AT&T's U- Verse product, Popovic 
painted a very clear picture of the 
deficiencies of the company's method 
for distributing PEG channels as 



an on-demand, Web-like service: 
"AT&T representatives have repeat- 
edly acknowledged these deficiencies 
but claim the PEG product is a 'work 
in progress.' But why the wait? My 
written testimony includes an inde- 
pendent engineering study that shows 
PEG channels can be treated equally 
on systems like AT&T's with readily 
available technology. Where the laws 
exist to prevent unequal treatment 
of PEG, the only reason it continues 
is government's failure to say three 
simple words — just do it" she told the 
subcommittee. She closed by asking 
the subcommittee for three things: 

1 . Prohibit funds from being used 
to implement or enforce the FCC's 
Vdeo Franchising Orders. 

2 . Compel the FCC to reconsider 
these Orders in light of the adverse 
affect on PEG. 

3 . Ask the GAO to conduct a 
study to get to the bottom of the 
harm that has come to PEG from 
recent regulatory changes. 

The cable industry's represen- 
tative, Howard Symons, from the 
NCTA, championed cable's "unique 
commitment to PEG." Symons 
painted a rosy picture of the industry's 
transition to all digital distribution, 
saying, "Most operators plan to group 
PEG channels together, so they will 
remain easy for viewers to find. And 
just as with commercial program- 
ming, the shift from analog to digital 
PEG will mean enhanced picture 
quality and all the other benefits of 
digital transmission." 



46 COMMUNITY MEDIA REVIEW, SUMMER/FALL 2008 



BronxNet Executive Director 
Michael Max Knobbe offered a local 
perspective by sharing many success 
stories from his organization, which 
is located in Rep. Serrano's legislative 
district. Knobbe 's examples illustrated 
how effective PEG access can be as 
a tool for community development, 
career skills education, and multi- 
cultural understanding. He decried 
the current practice of "channel 
slamming," in which cable opera- 
tors move PEG channels to a high 
number digital channel and charge an 
extra monthly fee for digital converter 
boxes. "This practice pushes what is 
intended to be open, accessible, and 
inexpensive programming outside the 
reach of many consumers," he told 
the committee members. "The PEG 
channels are required to be on the 
basic cable tier of service available to 
the subscribers," he pointed out. 

Following the testimonies, several 
members of the committee asked 
questions of the panelists. Monica 
Desai fielded several questions about 
the FCC's lack of enforcement of 
the Cable Act and Howard Symons 
responded to questions about cable 
operators' practice of side-stepping 
regulations regarding PEG channel 
placement. 

In an exchange with Rep. Peter 
Visclosky (D-IN), Symons pointed 
to changes in Indiana state law as 
the reason several access centers in 
Northern Indiana were closed by 
Comcast just 30 days after the state 
franchising law was enacted. "You 



Barbara Popovic explained, 
"PEG Access exists because 
of regulations that stem 

from the 1984 Cable 
Act. But the FCCs Video 
Franchising Orders green 
light a major regulatory 

shift while failing to 
safeguard PEG, ignoring 
localism and diversity 
goals mandated by 
Congress/ 1 



know, Congressman," Symons said, 
"the cable industry didn't ask the 
state legislatures to change the law." 
Visclosky instantly raised his index 
finger and admonished Symons, "Oh, 
don't say that! Don't say that! I would 
suggest that that is not a correct state- 
ment — to be polite." 

It was evident from the questions 
asked that the Representatives partici- 
pating understood the value of access 
and, for the most part, supported our 
position. When asked why the Fed- 
eral Communications Commission 
had not enforced provisions of the 
Cable Act, Ms. Desai indicated that 
the Commission had never received a 
complaint. Rep. Kirk asked Ms. Desai 
if a joint letter from the Commit- 
tee would help the FCC expedite an 
inquiry into these matters, saying, "I 
would be willing to sign a letter, with 
the Chairman, to you, saying, 'Hey, 
get on the case here.' Is that enough 
for you to get rolling?" Ms. Desai 
answered, "I'm sure a letter from 
you and Chairman Serrano would be 
taken. . . act on it post-haste." 



In closing, Chairman Serrano 
expressed his support for PEG and 
shared a personal story about his son, 
a New York State legislator, being a 
guest on programs seen on BronxNet. 
He added, "We stay committed to 
the commitment I made before to 
Mr. Kirk and the Committee that the 
issues that have been discussed here 
will be placed by this Committee of- 
ficially in a formal fashion before the 
FCC, to make sure that we begin to 
look at the whole issue and how best 
we can stick to the intent of the law, 
notwithstanding some changes that 
have taken along the way." 

While this was a very success- 
ful day, we cannot be complacent. 
We must continue to visit with our 
elected officials, in Washington, D.C., 
or in their district offices at home, to 
keep our concerns in the forefront so 
we can Keep Us Connected! "CMR 




2008 POST-CONFERENCE ISSUE 



47 



Working Overtime to Save PEG Access 
in Wisconsin 

■ BY MARY CARDONA 



We told our 
legislators 
that we want 
federal law to 
be strengthened 
so that states 
cannot give 
away the 
right of local 
governments 
to ask for and 
receive channels 
and support. 
We asked 
to have PEG 
access treated 
like broadcast 
channels and 
carried on a 
tier that every 
cable subscriber 
can see 

without special 
equipment. 



One of the toughest things I've run 
up against in the last year of fight- 
ing to save public, educational, and 
governmental (PEG) access in Wisconsin is 
the attitude that it won't do any good to talk 
to our legislators. I've come to realize that 
our legislators badly need us to talk to them 
so that they can care. Legislators also need 
to know that we are out there, speaking to 
groups, giving interviews to the press, and 
drumming up public support for our cause. 
Then, when they get up and take a stand, 
they feel us backing them up. It can be a very 
lonely, thankless job if you are a legislator who 
wants to do some good but the public doesn't 
take any notice. Believe me, corporate lobby- 
ists understand that and they are very good 
at making legislators feel appreciated — and 
companies make a strong effort to get public 
opinion to support the position the legislators 
take on their behalf. 

In July, when Alliance for Community 
Media members walked the halls of the House 
and Senate office buildings bringing our 
pressing concerns to telecommunications 
aides, at least two of us, Vel Wiley of MATA 
Community Media in Milwaukee and I, were 
following in the footsteps of Charter Com- 
munications. Charter had made its rounds just 
hours earlier, explaining its "wonderful" plan 
for digitizing the PEG channels. That was 
very sobering. It was mere happenstance that 
we were there to refute them. What if we had 
never brought the other side of the story to 
our legislators? They would never have known 
about the damage to PEG access. 



Vel and I visited every office in the 
Wisconsin delegation. During our 20-minute 
visits, we were given an opportunity to pre- 
sent our concerns and ask for action. We told 
our legislative staffs that Wisconsin's Act 42 
was written behind closed doors by the cable 
and telephone industries without input from 
municipalities and access advocates. We 
talked about how Wisconsin's bill is riddled 
with problems as a result. We explained that 
Charter was interpreting language in the Act 
to allow them to move PEG to the digital 
tier unavailable to between 30 percent and 
70 percent of cable subscribers, depending on 
the city. We talked about how the fundamental 
principles of localism and diversity underpin- 
ning federal communications law and regula- 
tion are being undermined by the states. 

What do we want? We told our legislators 
that we want federal law to be strengthened so 
that states cannot give away the right of local 
governments to ask for and receive chan- 
nels and support. We asked to have "chan- 
nel" better defined, so that we are not turned 
into webcasts. We asked to have PEG access 
treated like broadcast channels and carried 
on a tier that every cable subscriber can see 
without special equipment. We asked that 
local channels be allocated to communities 
based on community need, not the technical 
convenience of video providers. 

We gave each aide a packet of information 
that included the "Assessing the Damage" 
piece and folder generated by the Alliance, 
and four sheets specifically about Wisconsin. 
One sheet described the harm Wisconsin's 



48 ■ COMMUNITY MEDIA REVIEW, SUMMER/FALL 2008 




Act 42 has had on Wiscon- 
sin PEG and one piece listed 
Wisconsin stations and noted 
the ones in the legislator's 
district. Another table showed 
the stations receiving PEG fees 
and how much funding they 
will lose when PEG fees sunset 
in 201 1, and a final sheet listed 
the full membership of the 
Wisconsin Association of PEG 
Channels. 

Everyone listened closely 
and asked questions. It was 
good to meet the aides responsible for com- 
municating our message to our representatives 
in the Senate and House and it brought home 
to us once again that in order for our legisla- 
tors to do their job, we need to do ours. 

As she has for years, Representative 
Tammy Baldwin (D-Madison) took a special 
interest in our situation. Her office wrote a 
letter to Charter Communications and circu- 
lated it in September to the rest of our delega- 
tion. WAPC members called our delegation, 
urging them to sign it. This week, the letter to 
Charter was mailed. Representative Baldwin, 
joined by Senators Feingold (D-WI) and Kohl 
(D-WI) and Representatives Kagen (D-WI) 
and Moore (D-WI), expressed their dismay 
that Charter planned to digitize the PEG 
channels, making PEG unviewable to a large 
portion of the company's subscribers. The 
letter stated, "Charter's interest to provide 
additional services to customers should not 
come at the expense of local programming." 



Representative 
Baldwin's letter 
stated, "Charter's 
interest to provide 
additional services 
to customers should 
not come at the 
expense of local 
programming/' 



The letter expressed relief that 
Charter has delayed removing 
PEG from the basic analog 
tier, but also noted that the 
relocation of PEG channels to 
the 90's "still jeopardizes view- 
ership and consumer aware- 
ness of this programming." 

A copy of the letter also 
was sent to FCC Commis- 
sioners. Yet Charter found out 
about the letter and tried to 
stop it. 

Our next move is to call 
and thank our legislators for signing this letter, 
and express our dismay to those who didn't. 

If we had not walked the halls that day 
in July, we might not have this letter dated 
September 23, 2008, in our hands today. But 
whether you walk the halls in Washington or 
walk across a street to a local office or simply 
pick up the phone, in the end this is what 
matters: building that ongoing, mutually 
supportive relationship with your legislator 
and doing the community organizing that will 
provide support for our legislators when they 
stand up to defend PEG. "CMR 



Mary Cardona is the executive director of the 
Wisconsin Association of PEG Channels. Fifty- 
five members strong, the association has been 
serving access stations in Wisconsin since 1998. 



2008 POST-CONFERENCE ISSUE 



49 



New York Alliance Members Shine Light 
on Damage to PEG 

Representative Serrano Calls for House Subcommittee Hearing 

BY DAN COUGHLIN 

The new Verizon franchise agreement included important increases in financial 
support as well as an expansion of public access channels from four to nine. The deal 
showed the success of local franchising in strengthening localism and diversity in the 
cable industry. 



Summer in the nation's capital 
can be hot, but nowhere more 
so this past July than on Capitol 
Hill during the Alliance for Commu- 
nity Media's national Keep Us Con- 
nected Day More than 200 public, 
educational, and governmental (PEG) 
access advocates from some 30 states 
burned up the hallways and offices of 
the House and Senate office build- 
ings, arguing passionately for PEG 
access. Attendees came from as far 
as Hawaii to as close as Washington, 
D.C., itself. Adults and youth united 
for freedom of speech and diverse 
voices in the media. 

The New York State contingent 
was strong and powerful. More than 
20 PEG representatives came from 
New York City alone, representing 
access centers BronxNet, Brook- 
lyn Community Access Television 
(BCAT), Manhattan Neighborhood 
Network (MNN) and Queens Public 
Television (QPTV). 

The NYC contingent was buoyed 
by a recently struck deal with a new 
entrant into the New York video 
market — phone and fiber-optic giant 
Verizon. The new Verizon fran- 
chise agreement included important 
increases in financial support as well 
as an expansion of public access 
channels from four to nine. The deal 
showed the success of local franchis- 



ing in strengthening localism and 
diversity in the cable industry. 

"We came to Congress with the 
message that local franchising can 
work both in allowing competition 
and in ensuring that PEG access 
remains strong," said Zenaida Men- 
dez, the External Affairs Director at 
MNN. "You do not have to sacrifice 
PEG and local franchising to have 
competition." 

New York City PEG members 
met with more than eight Con- 
gressional members and Federal 
Communications Commission staff 
members. They included Representa- 
tive Carolyn Maloney, representing 
Manhattan's Upper East Side, the old 
"silk stocking" district; House Ways 
and Means Committee Chair Charlie 
Rangel (D-NY); Representative Jose 
E. Serrano of the Bronx; Represen- 
tative Jerold Nadler of Manhattan; 
Representative Ed Towns of Brook- 
lyn; House Commerce Committee 
member Eliot Engel of the Bronx; 
and Senator Charles Schumer 
(D-NY). New York PEG members 
also met with Senate Commerce 
Committee and FCC staffers. 

On the whole, attendees found the 
members and staffers to be interested 
in and responsive to PEG issues, and 
they made many new connections. 
The message was this: PEG access 



nationwide is under threat and New 
Yorkers need to stand up for diversity 
and localism in the media. 

The Keep Us Connected Day was 
such a success that shortly after the 
visits, Rep. Serrano, who represents 
the Sixteenth Congressional District 
of New York in the Bronx, a member 
of the exclusive House Appropria- 
tions Committee and Chairman of the 
Subcommittee on Financial Services 
and General Government, called for 
a hearing on PEG for September 17, 
2008. "CMR 



Dan Coughlin is the executive director 
of the Manhattan Neighborhood 
Network. 




50 ■ COMMUNITY MEDIA REVIEW, SUMMER/FALL 2008 



Alternatives in Training Strategies 



BY DEVORAH HILL 



Admittedly, the title "Alternatives in 
Training Strategies: The Pedagogy of 
Project-Based Learning" doesn't make 
you want to run out and tell everyone about 
this hot workshop. Though the title made us 
sound kind of intellectual and abstract, the 
workshop was anything but that. The work- 
shop intended to expose community media 
centers to different approaches to training our 
broad and diverse base of constituents. The 
project-based learning model shifts away from 
the traditional practices, such as a teacher-led 
format, and instead emphasizes a learning 
methodology that is long-term, interdisciplin- 
ary, student-led, and draws from their experi- 
ences. The workshop provided participants 
with tips and strategies on how to incorporate 
this pedagogy of teaching into their centers. 

Greg Hiltz, training coordinator for Capi- 
tal Community Television, Salem, Oregon, 
was the moderator. He discussed the "process 
verses product" challenge we all face when 
training the public. As community media 
educators we want producers to be concerned 
with the community and less concerned with 
creating the "Me, Mine, and I" show. How 
do you do that? How do you engage people 
while teaching them both the technical and 
the aesthetic aspects of television production? 
You get them invested in the project, and this 
workshop offered some practical ways to go 
about doing just that. 

Rosten Woo, executive director of the 
Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), Brooklyn, 
New York, shared strategies used at CUP. The 
center works with youth to create collabora- 
tive projects that explore the urban environ- 
ment. CUP creates project-based learning 
experiences that bring youth face-to-face with 
the people who make decisions that affect 
their lives: community advocates, government 



officials, and businesspeople. Students then 
work with CUP staff to create educational 
projects to solidify and spread their knowl- 
edge and understanding to the general public. 
These students are answering questions they 
have regarding their subject. Their personal 
inquiry provides the investment that assists the 
collective learning process. 

The next presenter, Peter Poire-Odegard, 
community media facilitator for Portland 
Community Media (PCM) in Oregon, shared 
how the Portland People and Places series 
gathers new producers together. During an 
eight-session program, Portland's community 
producers work as a team to develop a pro- 
file that airs as part of the Portland People and 
Places series. Producers collectively determine 
their topic, plan, shoot, and edit a complete 
field segment. Working as a team, they learn 
community storytelling using the medium of 
television; basic storyboarding and scripting; 
conducting field interviews; understanding 
the fundamentals of field lighting, audio, and 
camcorder operation; and editing in Final 
Cut Express. Members of the class develop 
a productive interdependency, sharing their 
knowledge and ideas. 

The floor was finally given to Devorah 
Hill of Manhattan Neighborhood Network, 
who explained how to utilize digital storytell- 
ing as an outreach strategy. These short-term 
narratives center on the personal. They are 
the stories we all carry with us about the peo- 
ple, places, and events we have lived through. 
This process involves collaborating with 
local nonprofits. Community members write 
a short narrative (no more than 250 words) 
about a person, place, or event. They select 
music and images (photographs, drawings, and 
video footage) that will accompany the nar- 
rative they have developed. Then, using any 



As community 
media edu- 
cators we want 
producers to 
be concerned 
with the 
community 
and less 
concerned with 
creating the 
"Me, Mine, 
and I" show. 



2008 POST-CONFERENCE ISSUE 



51 



Alternatives in Training Strategies (continued) 



The project- 
based learning 
model shifts 
away from 
the traditional 
practices, such 
as a teacher- 
led format, 
and instead 
emphasizes 
a learning 
methodology 
that is long-term, 
interdisciplinary, 
student-led, and 
draws from their 
experiences. 



editing software, each participant assembles all 
of the elements to tell a short story — no more 
than three minutes long. These theme-related 
stories become the fabric of a community oral 
history as seen through the eyes of those who 
live there. You can see some of these stories at 
www.mnn.org/en/watch-community-media- 
programs. 

To give the workshop participants a little 
taste of the process, each person wrote a short 
story. At the end of the workshop, people 
shared their stories. We finished the session by 
giving attendees the chance to be the panel- 
ist. Several people stood to share what they 
are doing to use real projects as a way to train 
producers. We barely scratched the surface of 
discussion on this topic! I hope we see it again 
in Portland in 2009. "CMR 




Devorah Hill heads the Non-linear Editing 
Laboratory at Manhattan Neighborhood 
Network. She is a media educator with several 
decades of experience developing curricula and 
instructing the public in the effective use of 
electronic and visual media as a tool for advocacy 
and community development. 



For more information about the 
speakers or their organizations, 
contact: 

Greg Hiltz 

Training Coordinator 
Capital Community Television 
greg@cctvsalem.org 
cctvsalem.org/tronguide 

Rosten Woo 

Executive Director 

Center for Urban Pedagogy 

info@anothercupdevelopment.org 

www.anothercupdevelopment.org 

Peter Poire-Odegard 
Community Media Facilitator 
Portland Community Media 
Peter@pcmtv.org 
www.pcmtv.org 

Devorah Hill 

Manhattan Neighborhood Network 

devorah@mnn.org 

www.mnn.org 



52 ■ COMMUNITY MEDIA REVIEW, SUMMER/FALL 2008 




or Communications Democracy 

For more than 15 years, the Alliance for Communications Democracy has been fighting to preserve and 
strengthen access. Though the odds against us have been high, and the mega-media, corporate foes well- 
heeled and powerful time and again we've won in the courts. We can't continue this critical work without 
your support. With the ramifications of the 1996 Telecommunications Act still manifesting themselves, and 
new legislation on the horizon, we must be vigilant if we are to prevail and preserve democratic communi- 
cations. If not us, who? If not now, when? Please join the Alliance for Communications Democracy today I 

Become an Alliance Subscriber for $350/year and receive detailed reports on current 
court cases threatening access, pertinent historical case citations, and other Alliance for 
Communications Democracy activities. 

> Voting membership open to nonprofit access operations for an annual contribution of $3,000. 

> Associate, Supporter and Subscriber memberships available to organizations and individuals at 
the following levels: 

> Alliance Associate $2500 - copies of all briefs and reports. 

> Alliance Supporter $500 - copies of all reports and enclosures. 

Alliance Subscriber $350 - copies of all reports. 

Direct membership inquiries to ACD Treasurer Sam Behrend, Access Tucson, 124 E. Broadway Blvd., 
Tucson, AZ 85701, telephone 520.624.9833[x103], or email at sam@accesstucson.org 

www.theacd.org 




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